A Robbie Reader Contemporary Biography Book Reviews

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Booklist, March 1, 2014

On Andrew Luck, Buster Posey, Joe Flacco, and Victor Cruz

Good sports biographies are a must for any school or public library, and these titles in the Robbie Reader: Contemporary Biography series satisfy this need. Each book begins with a dramatic scene from the athlete's pro career, which ensures further reading. The large, accessible text continues with a brief look at each player's childhood and high school play before launching into their award-winning sports careers. Andrew Luck reveals how this self-proclaimed "nerd" chose an education at Stanford University over football powerhouse universities before becoming a professional quarterback. Buster Posey shows how this catcher and first baseman overcame injury to earn the National League MVP Award. Joe Flacco describes how determination helped this football quarterback achieve many goals, including a Super Bowl championship. Victor Cruz explains how, after giving up on his college education, the wide receiver worked hard to return to college and eventually become a Super Bowl champion. Complemented by color photos of the players in action, the biographies emphasize not only the athletes' accolades on the field but also their community service off the field, from Cruz's reaction to the Newtown shooting to Flacco's involvement with the Special Olympics. A chronology, glossary, career statistics, and other back matter will further gratify sports enthusiasts.

Booklist, October 2009

On Eli Manning

This compact entry in the Robbie Reader Contemporary Biography series opens with an account of Eli Manningís shining moment, the final minutes of Super Bowl XLII, which finally silenced his many critics and brought him out from under the shadow of his older brother, Peyton. The easy-reading biography then recounts growing up in the quarterback-factory Manning family, Eliís on-the-field exploits in both high school and college, and finally some of the highs and lows of his professional career to date. The narrative makes Manning out as easygoing almost to a fault and fairly balances his less-than-admirable moments (refusing to play for San Diego, who drafted him, because he didnít think they were good enough) with more positive aspects (including charity work, especially in New Orleans). Plenty of appropriately action-packed photos liven the relatively staid layout, and a chart with his career numbers will satisfy young stat hounds. Additional back matter includes a chronology, a glossary, and additional sources of information.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, May 2005

On Donovan McNabb

This easy-to-read book is a rather mature biography of a popular sports figure. Students interested in football will love this book. The chronology, "Find Out More" section, glossary, and index make it a good introduction to biographies.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, May 2005

On Mia Hamm: Soccer Star

This easy chapter biography about Mia Hamm is well organized and illustrated. It is part of the Robbie Reader series of high interest books for beginning readers.

South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, Spring 2005

On Hilary Duff

From A Robbie Reader series, Hilary Duff's brief biography is written simply and filled with quality photos that kids will enjoy. These books are exactly what young kids interested in these celebrities will want.

South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, Spring 2005

On Donovan McNabb

Pictures will be exciting to young fans. The biography is written simply for younger children or reluctant readers who will enjoy the photos and background. Young fans will love it.

Booklist, November 2004

On LeBron James and Mia Hamm

These biographies in the new Robbie Reader series balance slight, overly simplified texts with a good selection of color photos of the athletes. Both biographies touch on the athletes' childhoods, early training, and current successes...the short sentences and relatively simple vocabulary make these acceptable choices for emerging readers or for somewhat older students who are reading below grade level. The many images of the athletes practicing, playing, and having fun with their families and friends will surely attract browsers and draw reluctant readers into the words. A chronology, a list of further readings, and a glossary close these ... titles, which are best suited to collections in which high-interest, easy-reading sports material are in great demand.