Children's LiteratureThis picture biography on a popular basketball player opens with the eighteen-year-old rookie guard determined to become a pro in the sport he loves. Personal information reveals Bryant's nicknam is "Bean" and his father's is Jellybean. Bryant grew up in a basketball environment. His father was a basketball player and Bryant learned from him. At age fourteen, Bryant was already 6'4" tall and eventually added another two inches to his height. In 1996, at the age of seventeen, he skipped college and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. He didn't have a great start in the pros, finding himself with a broken wrist bone and little playing time. Goodman tells the reader that Bryant was strong and competitive and worked hard at his sport. In 1998, at the age of nineteen, he became the youngest ever player to start and play in an NBA All-Star Game. In 2001, he married and became a father to a little girl. The chapter titled "Voices" is a nice addition to this biography. Quotes from Bryant, family and other players are included. Bryant's idol Magic Johnson says of him, "Kobe will be one of the best clutch players in NBA history." And Kobe says, "I want to be the best player who ever set foot on a basketball court." Although Bryant's personal life has come into question, his status as a remarkable pro basketball player is on firm ground. 2004, Creative Education, Ages 10 up.
Della A. Yannuzzi