G.O.A.T.: LeBron James: Making the Case for Greatest of All Time

128p. (G.O.A.T.: Bk. 1). bibliog. glossary. index. photos. Sterling. May 2019. pap. $8.95. ISBN 9781454930983.
Gr 5–8-Could basketball legend LeBron James be the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.)? The question provides a useful frame for Gurnett's short biography. The book opens with a brief chapter on James's childhood in Akron, Ohio, before turning to his storied high school career at St. Vincent-St. Mary and his succeeding years in the pros. Gurnett presents James as a persistently generous team player and relentless striver for self-improvement for whom "his best teacher was failure itself." Sidebars provide context and complementary information. Examples include a capsule profile of Maverick Carter, once James's high school teammate and now his business manager, or an explanation of how MVP voting works in the NBA. A late chapter compares James statistically to several other G.O.A.T. candidates, including Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan. Much of the discussion of game play and statistics assumes a thorough knowledge of basketball. The author occasionally employs dense sports similes, such as describing a teammate in the 2012 NBA finals who "ripped down almost 10 boards a game." Numerous color photos depict James in action on the court from high school through his professional career. The cover image features James wearing his Lakers uniform. The volume concludes with a glossary and index, as well as a lengthy bibliography of both print and online resources.
VERDICT For independent reading or light biographical background, this is a solid choice for middle grade basketball fans.-Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA

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