School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-- Here's a book full of amazing stories that may have made headlines in local newspapers, but have been forgotten over the years. Readers are sure to find their favorite sport among the wide variety that Nash and Zullo have chosen to represent courage and sportsmanship. In one selection, a boxer was knocked down 27 times, but still won. In another, a college football player caught the game-winning touchdown pass with two broken hands. And there's still more dream material for would-be athletes when the authors tell the inspiring story of the seventh player of a high school basketball team who came off the bench in the final 30 seconds of regular play, tied the score with a buzzer beating shot, and repeated this feat two more times when the game went into the third overtime. Readers of the authors' previous books, such as Sports Hall of Shame (Archway, 1990), will eagerly snatch up this one and ask about others. --Blair Christolon, Prince William Library, Manassas, VA
Stuart MillerThe authors have compiled 34 stories from different areas of sport, featuring professionals and amateurs. These are stories that few fans know about: the baseball player who was able to hit three home runs to encourage a sightless boy about to undergo surgery; the boxer who was knocked down 27 times in one match, but refused to give up; the golfer who had just teed off and was forced to stop playing to save a boy's life. There's an enthusiastic tone to this (especially in the dialogue) that makes the book seem like something from an earlier era, and in some places the writing is just sloppy: "A sad look of disappointment crossed Bobby's face" (Is there any other kind?). Kids will enjoy these unusual stories, though, and the large print helps the book's accessibility. The full-page gray-wash illustrations are lively, if not always well executed. Although readers won't be using this for reports, a few notes or a bibliography would have been nice.
- Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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