By: Chris Paul
Illustrated by: Frank Morrison
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2009
Every sports-minded boy imagines himself crossing the goal line with the football, batting a home run, or kicking the soccer ball into the net in the last few seconds of the game, but not Chris Paul. In his mind's eye he was going up against Michael Jordan. He "pulls back for the jumper. He lets it go -- and scores! The crowd goes wild." Well, not exactly because Paul was short and too darn small. His brother C.J. and his friends loved to tease him, but that only seemed to make him more determined than ever to practice really hard for the upcoming basketball tryouts. His brother said the "ball is bigger than you are" so he'd need all the luck he could get.
Chris knew all about basketball, including the fact that the "average height of a player in the NBA was 6 Feet 7 inches tall." He also knew that he was barely four feet tall. He couldn't even concentrate in class just thinking about those tryouts. His mom gently put her hand under his chin as he lay in bed and tried to reassure him, telling him that he had to do the best he could do. His grandfather Chilly told him that making himself taller wasn't an option, but he could "get faster and stronger." `Work harder than everyone else on the court and your size won't matter." Chris practiced like crazy for days, but was it enough to make the team?
I loved this heartwarming story of the little guy who had big dreams and just wouldn't give up. The artwork was bold, vibrant and daring and meshed very well with the story. There are a lot of children who might not dare to dream big and this book will make them feel like they too can make it…even if they are a little too small or have anything that just might appear to hold them back in life. I read another nonfiction book, "Chris Paul (Amazing Athletes)" that goes into more detail about his career that would be the perfect compliment to this book.
Quill says: I loved this little guy with big dreams and you will too!