VOYA - Marian D. RafalJuwan Howard, one of basketball's greatest players of the 1990s, is the focus of these two biographies. Howard, along with Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King, was a member of the extraordinary "Fab Five"-the University of Michigan's legendary freshman basketball class of 1991. Savage, writing with the speed and energy of the game itself, concentrates on plays, games, and tournaments, giving just a thumbnail sketch of Juwan's difficult early life. Sirak adds to this mix with a slightly more fleshed-out life story, providing greater detail about Juwan's early years in Chicago's housing projects and how he grew up under the strong care and guidance of his beloved grandmother, Jannie Mae. Both books are easy to read and contain a plethora of photographs and statistics. They both begin with a critical NBA game: Savage leads readers through the final game of the 1997 season; Sirak highlights Juwan's first professional game as a Washington Bullet in 1994. Each author then touches upon Juwan Howard's early life. From there Savage embarks on a dizzying run through basketball seasons, while Sirak slows the pace with a more thoughtful overview of Howard's personal and professional life. Both books are the latest in a series of sports biographies for younger YAs and less sophisticated readers. The Chelsea House series Basketball Legends has clear black-and-white photos, clean wide margins, and good quality paper. The Sports Great series by Enslow is smaller, with dark black-and-white photos. While neither title attempts to be more than a quick-dip sports bio, true basketball fans will keep these in circulation. Index. Photos. Charts. Further Reading. Chronology. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles-Juwan Howard and Sports Great Juwan Howard. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
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