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Children's LiteratureThis entry in the reader-friendly "Sports Heroes and Legends" series introduces baseball great Barry Bonds. A prologue to set the stage by imparting chronological order the early training and temporary setbacks, and ends with what Bonds sees as his legacy to the sport. The book was published before the steroids controversy, which allows the author a certain amount of leeway in candor. Boxed quotes from Bonds and coaches, plus interesting facts both of the sport and of Bonds' career, are sprinkled throughout the text. Photos grouped at the center of the book cover some twenty years of Bonds' life as a competitor, but there are none from his early baseball years. In ten chapters with less than 100 pages of text, this paperback-sized hardbound will capture the interest of older readers and satisfy the need for easy-to-read biographies for middle schoolers and upper elementary readers, as well. A rich selection of back matter includes stats, sources for all quotes, bibliography, websites, and an index. 2004, Lerner Sports, Ages 10 to 16.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.