Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars

Rising AboveWritten by Gregory Zuckerman


No matter who you are, you will face hard things. This book highlights eleven athletes who overcame difficult challenges to find success and more importantly, inner strength. I was happy to see that poverty wasn’t the only challenge in the book. Soccer player, Tim Howard, deals with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on a daily basis. He was ridiculed and belittled most of his childhood. He found a reprieve in sports. They were the one place he could focus on something other than his constant tics. With determination and hard work, Tim became one of the world’s best goalies, even making 16 saves in one game during the 2014 World Cup! The remaining accounts are similar to Tim’s and all are inspiring. One account includes dealing with sexual abuse. It is handled appropriately and with care. I was glad to see a female athlete included, but disappointed that it seemed Althea’s main challenge was her own rebellious attitude. But that can be a huge obstacle to success, so it is a good lesson as well. Everyone, especially young people, can benefit from a role model, and this book is a great place to find one.

Review by Teresa Edmunds, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-12

Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars
Written by Gregory Zuckerman
Philomel Books
245 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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