Goodreads: Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends
Source: Armchair BEA giveaway
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Forget the gold medals, the championships, and the undefeated seasons. When all-star athletes were growing up, they had regular-kid problems just like you. Baseball legend Babe Ruth was such a troublemaker, his family sent him to reform school. Race car champion Danica Patrick fended off bullies who told her “girls can’t drive. And football superstar Peyton Manning was forced to dance the tango in his school play. Kid Athletes tells all of their stories and more with full-color cartoon illustrations on every page. Other subjects include Billie Jean King, Jackie Robinson, Yao Ming, Gabby Douglas, Tiger Woods, Julie Krone, Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali, Bobby Orr, Lionel Messi, and more!
Kid Athletes is a fun yet informative book about some of the country’s favorite athletes as children. Stories range from how they overcame discrimination to how they dealt with family problems or someone’s lack of belief in their skill. Some stories are inherently more inspiring than others (Jackie Robinson choosing baseball over becoming a gang member vs. Peyton Manning being embarrassed to dance the tango in a school performance), but all the stories paint the athletes in a relatable light and show readers that anything is possible with perseverance—and a few lucky breaks.
Each story is written in a conversational tone and illustrated with quirky cartoons: Peyton Manning trying to hide the VHS of his infamous tango, Babe Didrikson Zaharias relaxing in a river full of alligators, a mouse telling Babe Ruth that he likes his tie. This is nonfiction at its most engaging. Additionally, the book does a nice job incorporating diversity. Sports ranging from football to horse racing are covered, while the featured athletes include both men and women, historical and current players, etc.
Children’s nonfiction is not a genre I typically read. It was not something I even read much as a child. However, this book is entertaining and highly readable, and I felt I learned a lot from it. Now I only wish I were young enough to start pursuing my own legendary career in athletics. Recommended for sports fans.