Michael's Golden Rules

( 1 )


"I've learned it takes heart to come out a winner every time, whether you win or lose."
Michael Jordan

Jonathan wants to win more than anything. But the Badgers haven't seen much of that lately. For Jonathan, the only good thing about the baseball season is being on the same team as his best friend, Michael. Jonathan wants to believe in himself and his team, but it's getting harder to do.

Then when Michael's uncle Jack tells the boys about ...

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"I've learned it takes heart to come out a winner every time, whether you win or lose."
Michael Jordan

Jonathan wants to win more than anything. But the Badgers haven't seen much of that lately. For Jonathan, the only good thing about the baseball season is being on the same team as his best friend, Michael. Jonathan wants to believe in himself and his team, but it's getting harder to do.

Then when Michael's uncle Jack tells the boys about his golden rules of baseball, Jonathan is confused. What could Uncle Jack mean — there is more to a good game than winning or losing?

Deloris and Roslyn M. Jordan, mother and sister of basketball superstar Michael Jordan, tell a family story of personal best, friendship, and teamwork that will inspire. Kadir Nelson's radiant illustrations illuminate this story of what it really means to be a champion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This follow-up to Salt in His Shoes, which dabbles in the subject's less successful flirtation with baseball, may disappoint fans of the earlier book. The tale opens as young Michael's best friend, Jonathan, strikes out at the end of a game their Little League team loses. Walking home with the lads, Michael's uncle utters the well-worn platitude that there's "a lot more to a game than winning or losing.... It's all about how you play the game." Uncle Jack, a former baseball player, then shares with the boys his book of 10 "golden rules" (e.g., "Pay attention to the coach at alltimes," "Be a team player" and "Have fun!"). These come into obvious play during the big end-of-season game, which the boys' team predictably loses. When the coach assures them that they "played like winners," Jonathan gushes that, despite the loss, he feels good because "we all played together and gave our all." Michael then coos back, "Now, that's what I call a home run." Nelson's (Henry's Freedom Box) oil paintings are oddly uneven here; the artwork ably conveys the boys' emotions yet overall the portraits are marred by inconsistent likenesses of each. Ages 6-10. (Jan.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Basketball great Michael Jordan writes in the introduction to this picture book "I've learned it takes heart to come out a winner every time, whether you win or lose." In the introduction, we learn that Michael's family enjoyed baseball and saw those times together, playing and watching, as special. Unfortunately, this picture book written by Michael Jordan's mother and sister doesn't give readers the heart and honesty reflected in his introduction. The story revolves around Michael's friend, Jonathan, who is not a very good baseball player, and their little league team is only one game away from the play-offs. Jonathan feels discouraged and upset that the team loses and Michael's Uncle Jack—the creator of the "golden rules" while playing college baseball—tells him that winning isn't everything. Uncle Jack's book of ten golden rules includes "know the game," "pay attention the coach at all times," "know your opponent," "be a team player," "practice a winning attitude," and finally "have fun." He shares these rules with both boys, and the next day at the big game, Jonathan reviews the rules, and one-by-one exemplifies them during the game. The two-page spread illustrations are exceptional and filled with movement and tension at many points. Even though their team loses, Jonathan turns to Michael in the end to say that he still had fun because they all played together and gave their all. Perhaps if it had been entitled Uncle Jack's Golden Rules or Jonathan's Big Day the picture book would have been more satisfying since the reader learns very little of Michael Jordan's feelings or dreams regarding baseball or playing the game.
School Library Journal

Gr 1–3
Written and illustrated by the team responsible for Salt in His Shoes (S & S, 2000), this oversize title looks promising but never reaches its potential. Jonathan and Michael are best friends and baseball teammates. Jonathan is a weak link on their team—he is constantly striking out and making mistakes. However, once introduced to the "ten golden rules of baseball" that Michael's uncle made up when he played college ball, he practices more and improves his performance in the big game against a rival team. Readers will have difficulty believing in Jonathan's speedy transformation from "strike out king" to a better player who accepts the team's loss with maturity. The dialogue is a bit wooden and is filled with clichés. Furthermore, the "ten golden rules" seem to fit an adult agenda and wouldn't mean much to most youngsters without significant explanation. Nelson's illustrations are stunningly realistic and powerful. Readers view characters from multiple vantage points, some so close that one feels part of the action. The story does feature an appealing multicultural cast, and it might have some appeal to children who play team sports.
—Barbara KatzCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Michael Jordan's mother and sister return with another story about his childhood, this one more didactic than Salt in His Shoes (2003). This one is a baseball story, wherein young Jonathan is upset after losing a game. His friend Michael and Michael's Uncle Jack see this as an opportunity to teach Jonathan the ten golden rules of baseball, starting with "Know the game" and "Be a team player" and ending with "Practice, practice, practice" and "Have fun!" Jonathan follows the rules and plays hard, though his Badgers lose anyway, and he and Michael assure themselves that they feel good "because we all played together and gave our all." Though purported to be a family story, it is only a vehicle for the moral, and has no energy of its own; even Nelson's usual dramatic images cannot breathe any life into it. Someone, somewhere, needs to think about some golden rules of writing for children. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689870163
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 1/23/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 365,407
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Deloris Jordan is Michael Jordan’s mother and the coauthor of Salt in His Shoes, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, which Booklist called “inspirational;” Did I Tell You I Love You Today?, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, which was called “a tender read-aloud” by Kirkus Reviews; and Dream Big. She is also the author of Family First: Winning the Parenting Game, a book highlighting the seven principles of parenting. Through her work with the James Jordan Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, as well as the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mrs. Jordan is widely regarded as an advocate for children and families. The mother of five children and the grandmother of eleven, Mrs. Jordan lives in Chicago.

Roslyn M. Jordan is Michael Jordan's sister and the coauthor, with Deloris Jordan, of Salt in His Shoes and Did I Tell You I Love You Today? She lives in Chicago.

Kadir Nelson is the widely acclaimed illustrator of many books for children, including Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award; Ellington Was Not a Street, written by Ntozake Shange, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award; and Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life, written by Jerdine Nolen, which won the 2005 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He is also the illustrator of Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan’s Salt in His Shoes and Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee's Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. Kadir Nelson lives with his family in San Diego, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Michael's Golden Rules
By Deloris Jordan Roslyn M. Jordan Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books Copyright © 2007 Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-689-87016-3

Chapter One Jonathan bit his lip as he readied himself to swing. Two outs and bases loaded. The count was 3 and 2. He was ready.

The pitcher wound up. The ball whizzed past Jonathan as he swung and missed. "Strike three, you're out."

Jonathan slowly walked back to the dugout. He could hear calls of "that's okay" and "we'll get them next time," but all he wanted was to go home.

Jonathan walked home from the game with his best friend, Michael, and Michael's uncle Jack. Jonathan was glad Uncle Jack was here today, since Jonathan's mom had had to work.

"You boys played a good game."

Jonathan couldn't help saying, "But we lost. How could we have played a good game when we lost?"

"There's a lot more to a game than winning or losing, Jonathan. It's all about how you play the game. That's what makes a player great. That's what counts."

Jonathan was silent and Michael piped up. "Uncle Jack knows a lot about baseball. Uncle Jack, tell us about the ten golden rules of baseball. The ones you made up when you played in college. Please."

"Why don't you come by tomorrow, boys, and we can talk then." Jonathan couldn't wait.

The next day, Saturday, Michael and Jonathan walked the few blocks from their neighborhood to Uncle Jack's house.

"Hi, boys. I'm glad you came by. I have my book here that Michael told you about - my book of golden rules. These got me through some tough games in school. Maybe they'll help you, too."

Michael and Jonathan read through the rules.

1. Know the game.

2. Pay attention to the coach at all times.

3. Know your opponent.

4. Be a team player.

5. Practice a winning attitude.

6. Find out what you do best.

7. Find out what you need to work on.

8. Practice, practice, practice.

9. Learn from your mistakes.

10. Have fun!

"Wow! Thanks, Uncle Jack!" said Michael.


Excerpted from Michael's Golden Rules by Deloris Jordan Roslyn M. Jordan Copyright © 2007 by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    My 7 year old son and I enjoyed this book. The 'Golden Rules' reinforce what our volunteer coaches should be, and for the most part, are trying to teach the kids. I would recommend it for any young sports fan.

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