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Mighty Mike Bounces Back: A Boy's Life with Epilepsy
     

Mighty Mike Bounces Back: A Boy's Life with Epilepsy

by Robert Skead, Mike Simmel
 

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Mike has epilepsy and sometimes it's hard to feel like a "real" kid. He is scared of letting other people know about his disease—or even worse, being seen having a seizure! He is often worried and afraid of what other people will think. Soon Mike's father buys him a basketball, and things begin to change. Mike starts playing basketball at his school, at

Overview

Mike has epilepsy and sometimes it's hard to feel like a "real" kid. He is scared of letting other people know about his disease—or even worse, being seen having a seizure! He is often worried and afraid of what other people will think. Soon Mike's father buys him a basketball, and things begin to change. Mike starts playing basketball at his school, at home—everywhere! Through his growing love and talent for basketball, Mike learns to overcome his worries and to be courageous in the face of obstacles including his epilepsy. Co-written by a real-life basketball star with epilepsy, Mighty Mike Bounces Back is an empowering story written to help kids learn to deal with adversity and to take control of their life.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Mike sits by his window every day watching his brother and friends run around and play. Longing to be free of his epilepsy, he dreams of a world in which he won't black out and have unexpected seizures, kids won't make fun of him, and where he can play without having to wear a helmet in case he has an "episode." One day, Mike's father comes home with a basketball. Mike starts dribbling and doesn't want to stop. Soon, he finds that not only is his hand-eye coordination getting really good, but he also is having fewer seizures. His classmates and the adults around him, however, are worried that Mike's epilepsy might cause problems for him and the basketball team. Will he be able to join the team? The text seems overly simplistic for the target audience and, at times, is choppy. The characters and their motivations lack depth. The story, however, does a good job of inspiring readers while educating them about this condition, and back matter gives more information about it.—Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT
Children's Literature - Mary Clemens
All Mike wants is to be like the other kids. He doesn't want to be left out of their games. He doesn't want to wear a bike helmet when he is not riding a bike. He especially does not want to black out and have seizures. Mike is diagnosed with epilepsy when he is two-years-old. Since then his parents and older brother Joe do all they can to help him cope with his disability. When Mike's Dad gives him a basketball when he is eight-years-old, Mike discovers unknown talents. As the years pass and his ball-handling skills improve, Mike learns how to manage his disorder, deal with preconceptions born of ignorance, and overcome obstacles. When he finds himself at age fourteen playing in a championship basketball game, Mike is ready to take his shot. There are plenty of life lessons to be found in this title based on the childhood experiences of co-author Simmel, who, despite his small stature and medical condition, went on to successful college and professional basketball careers. Information about managing both the physical and psychological aspects of a disability interrupts the flow of the narrative, making the overall tone more self-help than story; however readers interested in learning more about Simmel or epilepsy may look past this. The small type-size makes the pages appear text heavy, which may be off-putting to the younger end of the intended reading audience. Supplemental material at the end of the book includes discussion questions, information about seizure types and coping strategies. Reviewer: Mary Clemens
Kirkus Reviews

A teen with epilepsy has fantastic basketball skills, honed by years of relentless practice, but still struggles frequently with his condition.

Fourteen-year-old Mike is about to take what might become the winning shot for his travel basketball team when he reflects back on his 12 years of living with epilepsy. His path to success has veered around roadblocks: seizures that aren't fully controlled by his medicines, bullying at school and prejudice on the part of his coach and a few other adults. With knowledgeable parents, a good doctor and a wise counselor, he's doing well; this aspect rings true, since one of the authors, Simmel, has had epilepsy since early childhood and is also a member of the Harlem Wizards, a performing basketball team. Stock characters and heavy-handed asides reinforce the helpful message to readers but often intrude on the storytelling unnecessarily: "His mom also reminded him that it's normal to be embarrassed or upset if kids didn't understand his epilepsy." This weakness diminishes the novel's potential to reach a broad audience. A lengthy afterward provides a wealth of accurate and useful information for patients and their families.

Thinly clad in the guise of a novel, this self-help book for kids with epilepsy offers a positive message but is unremarkable literarily. (Self-help fiction. 9-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433810428
Publisher:
American Psychological Association
Publication date:
10/07/2011
Pages:
80
Sales rank:
1,380,067
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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