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Children's LiteratureThis title opens, as do many of the books in the "Benchmark All-stars" series, with an amazing feat by an amazing athlete—here, Armstrong's remarkable 5th Tour de France win in 2003. Then it moves back to his somewhat difficult childhood, the earlier days of his cycling career, on to his now legendary recovery from testicular cancer, and through a stunning five straight Tour de France wins (six as of 2004). In this series Bradley focuses again and again on the recipe for topnotch athletes: take a plethora of talent, mix it with huge amounts of hard work, a ferocious will to win, and courage to face multiple setbacks. Armstrong could be the poster boy for the series. One opponent said that racing against him was like following a jackhammer. He is so good he is frequently accused of using drugs. But he has been tested over and over, and the results are always negative. Lance Armstrong not only inspires untold numbers of cancer patients with his courage and strength, but donates much of his free time, and money, to benefit them. He says, "I think of them all the time. I want to motivate them. They motivate me." This captivating and well-written book includes interesting sidebars, a "stats" page, great photographs, and an index. It is sure to capture the interest of many young readers, and might even work as a "hi-lo" for older, below grade level sports enthusiasts. 2005, Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, Ages 9 to 12.
—Dawn Elizabeth Hunt