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Becoming Kareem
Cover of Becoming Kareem
Becoming Kareem
Growing Up On and Off the Court

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!


The first memoir for young readers by sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball, and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with "coaches" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiring journey.
Written especially for young readers, Becoming Kareem chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar become the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!


The first memoir for young readers by sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball, and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with "coaches" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiring journey.
Written especially for young readers, Becoming Kareem chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar become the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    990
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    5 - 7

Recommended for you

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2017

    Gr 7 Up-The NBA's all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, traces his path to becoming a basketball superstar and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Born in Harlem in 1947, shy, thoughtful Abdul-Jabbar was not on anyone's "most likely to succeed" list at the start. In this intimate narrative, he reveals how the influence of selfless, wise coaches and role models helped shape him into a proud man who scored big in basketball and grew confident as an African American and a practicing Muslim. While the tone of the work is understated and contemplative, the memoir contains powerful ideas for reflection and discussion about racism, politics, identity, and religion. The book is about so much more than a single basketball star's rise to fame. Abdul-Jabbar intertwines his narrative with that of other people who railed against injustice such as Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Bruce Lee. Students who enjoy sports will appreciate the details of Abdul-Jabbar's talent and acclaim, as will those who gravitate toward insightful contemporary reads from authors such as Jason Reynolds. VERDICT This timely and unforgettable memoir is essential for middle and high school collections, and affords rich opportunities for classroom and book club discussions.-Melissa Williams, Berwick Academy, ME

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2017
    One of the greatest basketball players of all time reminisces on the lessons that pushed him into a life of personal reinvention.In our current moment when black athletes are joining the national confrontation with the nation's overwhelming legacy of racial injustice, few are better suited to provide context than Abdul-Jabbar. At 24, the newly minted NBA Finals MVP publicly embraced his conversion to Islam by renaming himself, choosing to become the person he wanted to be. The reactions stretched from confusion to outrage and betrayal. For this Harlem native, the influence of the massive 1960s civil rights and '70s Black Power movements and the examples set by Dr. Martin Luther King, historian John Henrik Clarke, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali had a lasting influence on the superstar and scholar. Abdul-Jabbar recalls them and more, including most significantly coach John Wooden of UCLA, where Abdul-Jabbar and the Bruins accumulated an awe-inspiring 88-2 record. Wooden's lessons would extend well beyond the basketball court. Abdul-Jabbar lets his many other, worldly accomplishments sit in the background, choosing to focus on the long road of self-discovery, which included many blemishes, mistakes, and struggles. Wrestling with what it means to be black, determining his own responsibility and capacity to respond to injustice, and becoming the "kindest, gentlest, smartest, lovingest, version" of himself takes center stage in this retelling of the early part of his life.Like the author's unstoppable sky hook, this timely book is a clear score. (Memoir. 10-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 23, 2018
    Basketball legend Abdul-Jabbar awkwardly reads the audio edition of his memoir aimed at young listeners. The book recounts his childhood and timid teenage years in NYC, his transformation into a basketball phenomenon, his success on the court, and his spiritual growth and conversion to Islam. Throughout, he talks about the people he met and admired—such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Wilt Chamberlain—who left enduring marks on his political views and life on and off the court. Unfortunately, Abdul-Jabbar’s performance lacks confidence and too often sounds like he’s reading off the page rather than telling his life story. Abdul-Jabbar’s story is fascinating, but the audiobook is frustrating to listen to. Ages 10–13. A Little, Brown hardcover.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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