Gatto, Kimberly. LeBron James.
Enslow 2011 48p 23.93
Sports Stars Who Care(Enslow) VG
LeBron’s name is well-known to all fans of pro basketball, but young readers learn so much more about his career and community service in this short biography about James, current star of the Miami Heat and former star of the Cleveland Cavaliers. When compared to Barry Wilner’s book about Tom Brady of the same series, this book does not offer the same level of complexity with regard to author’s style. That does not diminish the quality of the information within the pages, yet to appeal to the middle school literacy teacher, more complex and compound sentences would add to its readability level. Instead, if one can reconcile the short, simple sentences and a general flatness to the writing, Kimberly Gatto offers a solid, short biography about a major star. LeBron’s transition from poverty in Akron, Ohio, to fame in Miami was cemented when LeBron’s mother made the sacrifice of a lifetime by allowing LeBron to live with his coach, Frankie Walker, where he was given the chance to lead a normal childhood and learn the sport at the same time. His high school career was simply put, stellar, and this led him directly to the pros after graduation. “King James” largely led the Cavaliers to the NBA finals in 2007, but the team lost against the Spurs. In 2010, he made a controversial career change to become a member of the Miami Heat where he plays today. His contributions do not only shine on the court but also in the area of community service. In 2004, he created the LeBron James Family Foundation to help children in many ways. The foundation builds playgrounds, provides bikes to needy children and serves turkeys to needy families.
The strength of this series lies in the combination of career information and charitable contributions thereby making the series informational, entertaining and rewarding. The photographs are exciting and relevant to the text. The book ends with a listing of career statistics, a glossary of vocabulary, a list of sources to consult for more information & an index.
This series focuses on the careers of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, David Wright, & others. The first 5 chapters deal with the star’s contribution on the playing field and are followed by a chapter on the charities of focus of each star. A good choice for the elementary school and middle school libraries, this series combines two topics that are of high interest value to young readers, sports information and community service.