Mighty Mike Bounces Back: A Boy's Life with Epilepsyby Robert Skead, Mike Simmel
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.
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)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews