cover image Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

Deloris Jordan, illus. by Barry Root. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1269-9

Michael Jordan’s mother offers another lesson-laden story from her son’s early years, following Michael’s Golden Rules and Salt in His Shoes. It’s 1972, Michael is nine, and his basketball obsession is being stoked by the U.S. basketball team’s Olympic loss to Russia. Now Michael doesn’t just want to be a basketball star; he wants to be an Olympic champion, too. But is he willing to give it everything he’s got—after he’s done with his homework, that is? Jordan’s mantra of “dream big and work hard” isn’t handled with much finesse or economy, and some readers may wish that all the firm yet supportive adults around Michael would let up a little. What rescues this book from its own sermonizing are Root’s (Passing the Music Down) terrific sketch-style watercolor and gouache drawings. Their openheartedness and spontaneity almost seem as if Root were there as events unfolded. As drawn on these pages, Michael isn’t a star in the making or the vessel for promulgating time-honored values. He’s a living, breathing kid. Ages 4–8. Agent: Ronnie Ann Herman, the Herman Agency. (May)