From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—This impressive set builds on three previous works: The Twentieth Century: Great Athletes
(1992); a 3-volume supplement (1994), and Great Athletes, Revisited
(2002), retaining most of the articles from the earlier works and adding more than 415 new entries. Athletes are grouped by sport: two volumes apiece are devoted to baseball and football, four volumes to Olympic contenders, while single volumes cover basketball, boxing and soccer, golf and tennis, and racing and individual sports. The entire collection contains 1470 succinct biographies with each figure's accomplishments summed up in two to three pages. Text boxes add statistics and milestones, and most entries are accompanied by black-and-white photographs. The scope of this resource is noteworthy. Participants from an array of sports and countries are represented; this is especially true in the volumes dedicated to Olympic sports. Americans comprise the majority of entries in the volumes covering baseball; however, a handful of international athletes is included. A valuable index lists all of the athletes in the set by sport, country, and name. Purchase of the set comes with complimentary online access.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This massive undertaking totals 1,470 entries covering athletes in baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, auto racing, soccer, tennis, and Olympic sports. Additionally, well-known athletes in other, less-recognized sports—such as cycling, skateboarding, stunt riding, martial arts, and chess—are included, for example, Lance Armstrong, Tony Hawk, Evil Knievel, Bruce Lee, and Bobby Fischer. The set rests on the foundation of earlier Salem publications: The Twentieth Century: Great Athletes (1992), its supplement (1994), and the 8-volume Great Athletes, Revised (2002). This expansion includes almost 400 new entries and, like its predecessors, is intended for younger readers at the middle- and high-school levels. Volumes can be purchased individually, but Olympic Sports consists of 4 volumes, Football and Baseball have 2 each, while Golf and Tennis are combined in one volume, as are Boxing and Soccer. Basketball and Racing and Individual Sports each get a single volume. Entries are arranged alphabetically and are generally about 3 pages in length, covering the lives and careers of each individual. Every entry has the same subheadings: “Early Life,” “The Road to Excellence,” “The Emerging Champion,” “Continuing the Story,” and “Summary.” An accompanying table of statistics or honors and achievements is also a part of each entry, as is an additional sources section for further reading. Most entries include black-and-white photographs as well. Each volume (or, in the case of some sports, multivolume subset) has its own index, and the entire set has a separate cumulative index. This is helpful if a user might not know, for example, that popular snowboarder Shaun “the Flying Tomato” White is covered in the Olympic Sports portion of the set and not in the Racing and Individual Sports volume. The index volume is free with any purchase, whether of the whole or parts. Overall, this is a well-put-together and wide-ranging set, mainly useful at the junior-high and high-school levels. A nice added touch is that institutions or libraries that purchase the full set receive complimentary access to Great Athletes’ content online via the Salem History platform. Grades 7-12. --Michael Tosko