cover image Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court

Becoming Kareem: Growing Up on and off the Court

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld, read by Kareem Abdul-Jabba. Hachette Audio, , unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $25 ISBN 978-1-4789-2340-4

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. (Nov.)