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Michael's Golden Rules    by Deloris Jordan, Roslyn M. Jordan & Kadir Nelson order for
Michael's Golden Rules
by Deloris Jordan
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

In this picture book by the mother and sister of former NBA star Michael Jordan, young Michael and his friend Jonathan are on a baseball team. Unfortunately, Jonathan lacks confidence and is frustrated when he makes errors. The two have a heart-to-heart with Michael's uncle Jack, who teaches them ten golden rules of sportsmanship. These include 'Know your opponent'; 'Learn from your mistakes'; 'Find out what you do best'; and 'Have fun.'

Jonathan and Michael repeat the golden rules to themselves like a mantra, and try their best to adhere to Uncle Jack's advice by practicing and working on their weaknesses. Eventually, they are put to the test when they play against a team that is more skilled than their own team.

The book is well-written and is even somewhat suspenseful during the scenes where the final game was in play. I liked that at the end of the story, the boys did not win their game, which reflects the reality that you cannot always be on a winning team. Nonetheless, Jonathan is buoyed by what he learned, and even though his team loses, he does not feel like a loser; in fact he feels better about himself as a person and as a player. 

This is a great book for any child who plays or is thinking of playing competitive sports. The accompanying drawings are cartoonish and exaggerated, but well-done and full of vibrancy. Nelson's sense of perspective and his ability to capture facial expressions are commendable.

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