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Shooting Stars Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159420232X
  • ASIN: B004KAB6NQ
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

James, the highest-paid athlete (including endorsement deals) in the NBA, turns to Bissinger (Friday Night Lights) to tell the story of his meteoric rise as a high school basketball player, when he and his teammates took a private school in Ohio to state and national championships. Looking back at the media circus that put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 17, James accuses the media of overexposing him for their own benefit. It feels like the young superstar is working out some grudges against the athletic officials who challenged his amateur status after he accepted two jerseys from a sporting goods store as a gift, along with his school for failing to take his side in the controversy, but Bissinger smoothes out the rough edges, letting very little anger show. That polish is the as-told-to memoir's biggest problem—despite stylistic flourishes like shifting to present tense to write about James's big games, his passion seems muted. James hits all the right moments, from the childhood promise he made to himself to put Akron on the map to the graduation day photo with his teammates, but it's a story readers hear rather than feel. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"When I first saw LeBron James play as a professional, it was his selflessness that dazzled me the most. After reading Shooting Stars, I now understand why. It is a book of five boys coming together to learn the true meaning of teamwork and togetherness, loyalty and love, through highs and lows and thick and thin. It is a book filled with excitement and unforgettable characters. It is a book that will incredibly move and inspire you." --Jay-Z

"Our sense of modern athletes is often limited to what highlight reels and marketing campaigns reveal or obscure. Shooting Stars is the compelling and often poignant story of a remarkable group of young men only one of whom happens to be a future NBA superstar. In the end we care about them all, even as we come away with a truer understanding and appreciation of the circumstances and relationships that forged one of the most significant sports figures of our time." --Bob Costas, HBO and NBC sports commentator

"A heartwarming story of boys who became men, teammates who became brothers, players who became champions, wonderfully told through the maturing eyes of basketball's greatest star." --John Grisham

"In the Olympics, LeBron was a star, a leader, and the ultimate teammate. He helped our team become a family. Reading Shooting Stars taught me how he became that kind of a teammate, developing the selflessness and loyalty that define who he is. What an amazing story." --Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University men's basketball coach, gold-medal-winning coach of the U.S. men's basketball team, 2008 Olympics

"Reading about LeBron James' transition from boyhood to manhood was a thrill for me. Shooting Stars is a remarkable and riveting story, filled with lessons of life we can all learn from." --Warren Buffett

"The clock ticks, the suspense tightens, the scrappy kids from hard-luck Akron leave you hanging on every shot. But the wonder of Shooting Stars is that it's hardly about basketball. Instead it is a nuanced coming-of-age drama about American culture and race, about organized sports as redeemer and exploiter, and about the blessing and curse of celebrity. At this book's heart, though, is an uncommon bond forged in youthful innocence and desire, a friendship at least as meaningful as anything LeBron James will ever add to his trophy case." --Steve Lopez, author of The Soloist

"Told in a voice that is streetwise yet gentle, Shooting Stars shows how inner determination trumps bad breaks and how a winning combination of coaches, mentors, and friends turns lucky breaks into a way of life. If a book can have game, this one does." --Madeleine Blaise, author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle


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Customer Reviews

I'm very interested in LeBron James, and I would recommend reading this book.
Adam Dukovich
That said, I picked up this book when it was offered and once I started, I found it to be a quick and entertaining read.
gnapye
It's an entertaining read, certainly if you are a Lebron fan, or from Cleveland, you will enjoy the book.
M. Cordoba

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Big Red VINE VOICE on August 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are several books out there about LeBron James, but I find the best way to get a grasp on someone is to hear what they have to say. Shooting Stars is the book you want if you're looking to see what the NBA phenom experienced firsthand, and it's his first book as an author (Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, is on board as well). Admittedly I've grown tired of seeing LeBron's name and face everywhere (it's hard to avoid incessant marketing), but as a basketball fan I respect him as a professional. With that said, let me tell you this is an easy, breezy read. He describes his childhood, his school days, and his basketball life before reaching the NBA. There isn't any fluff - just what happened and how he got through high school. I blew through this book and you will too, especially with any basketball interest.

LeBron James didn't have a spectacular childhood. He and his mother Gloria moved around and didn't have much money. They lived in the projects until he graduated high school. But in junior high he became very tight with three friends, and little did he know this would propel him to legendary status. They dubbed themselves The Fab Four playing basketball together for years, collectively deciding to enroll at St. Vincent-St. Mary High despite their racial minority there. After their freshman year they accepted a transfer student as one of their own and soon enough became The Fab Five.

Amazingly, yet not completely surprising, St. V won back-to-back Ohio state championships the first two years with LeBron and company. Two years later they won another state championship, and were national champs to boot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Cahoon on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge Cavs fan and love LeBron. I attended his high school games at St. V's, so I knew about the players and coaches. The book is an easy read but doesn't really capture the reader. The stories become very repetitive with too much detail focused on the games they played. Some games were completely documented, such as "I hit a 3, St V up 15-10. Dru hits a shot, St V up 17-10." If you are a fan of LeBron then you almost feel obligated to read the book. However I wouldn't recommend the book to non fans. Hopefully the movie is better.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Walsh VINE VOICE on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The temptation is irresistible. Buzz Bissinger, justly granted lifetime VIP access to the high-brow sports writing club (along with Halberstam, Feinstein, Asinof, Kahn, Plimpton, Remnick, and Lewis), returns to the trope he exploited so well in Friday Night Lights: lifetime bonds forged in high school athletic glory. Like FNL, Shooting Stars is about the purity and camaraderie of amateur sports at a time when -- in spite of the swirling promise of money, popularity, glory -- athletes are still in it for all the right reasons when they step between the lines.

Sadly, while Bissinger turned a telescope on small Permian High's football glories in his seminal HS football tome, here, he instead is amplifying a trite, pre-packaged PR schpiel for one of the planet's most famous -- and most managed -- pro athletes.

FNL was all heart. It was authentic, it was a great story and whatever resonance it had came about organically in both the story itself and in Bissinger's obvious enthusiasm to tell it for its own sake. With THREE NIGHTS IN AUGUST, Bissinger's painfully pre-packaged baseball biography of Tony LaRussa told through the device of a three-game series, the author began a descent from artistry informed by marketability to an inversion. SHOOTING STARS completes the fall -- this book is a press release.

Without a doubt, James' story is compelling in many ways. His high school fame is a well-known but still fertile field, and here his people tried to draw some attention to a less-widely known angle of the story: the four friends who followed (and - surprisingly - often drove James) through those high school years. But, Bissinger's treatment is shameless. One can almost see the outline he worked from as plot points are laid out and linked too overtly to thematic goals (i.e.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In "Shooting Stars", by Buzz Bissinger & Lebron James, the main characters are LeBron James,Little Dru Joyce,Coach Dru(father of Little Dru),Sian Cotton,Willie McGee,and Romeo Travis. LeBron,Little Dru,Sian, and Willie pretty much grew up together, playing basketball together in the AAU tournament being coached by Coach Dru,hence his nickname, who would also later on become their St. Vincents head coach in their junior and senior seasons.The conflict in "Shooting Stars" is one of Man Vs. Man, the Fab Four fighting those who persecuted the Fab Four for not attending and playing basketball for Butchel High School, but instead attending a "white" school, St Vincent's-St Mary's. Another conflict in the story consisted of the St Vincent's team and the teams they played throughout the high school tournaments. Also, a third conflict was one of Man vs. Surroundings, LeBron James growing up in poverty and having to move constantly, Willie having to uproot from Chicago to Illinois, and Romeo transferring from the high school he played at as a freshman to a St. Vincent's school where he had trouble making friends, but eventually befriending the Fab Four.

The hard work and determenation in practices and in AAU basketball led up to the rising action. One event was when the then Fab Four played the AAU National Championship and lost, making them tougher and stronger. Also, Romeo Travis joining the team led up to their number one ranking in the country, as close as a national championship win they would get since there is no high school national championship. Third, the defeat of Mater Dei, a private catholic school powerhouse, certainly led up to their number one ranking. What did I like about this novel? Virtually everything.
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