From School Library Journal
Grade 4–9—Forty years as a sportscaster gives Berman plenty of experience to choose the 25 greatest sports moments. His writing is lively, humorous, and informative—just right to sustain kids' (or adults') interest. Quality photos throughout are another plus. Each of the entries for the individuals chosen includes a brief biographical profile with birth date, birthplace, height, weight, and a fact about their accomplishments. Other boxes feature interesting trivia such as the price of a baseball ticket in the 1930s being a little more than a dollar. Another describes the amazing typical breakfast for swimmer Michael Phelps. An audio CD that includes many of the moments as they were broadcast live is part of the package. A "Listen to the Moment" icon appears in the text to cue readers. Another positive is that definitions of various terms (e.g., horse racing's Triple Crown) are in the text instead of in a separate glossary. Of course, there are a few minor details that aren't so great, too. Only two women: Nadia Comaneci (her perfect 10 performance in the 1976 Olympics) and Billy Jean King (her highly publicized match against Bobby Riggs in 1973) and one women's team (1999 U.S. Women's World Cup Soccer) are highlighted. Arthur Ashe's profile (his 1975 Wimbledon Championship) omits the cause of his early death and his fight against AIDS discrimination. Nonetheless, this is an excellent choice for anyone who is into sports.—Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI
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There is always room to quibble about the choice of selections in any compilation of great sports events, and in this one, it could be argued that there is a bias toward male athletes. Of the 24 great moments highlighted, only 3 involve women. The pages feature a good mix of sports, however, with baseball, football, and basketball covered along with horse racing and boxing, and in some cases, the chapters move beyond moments to cover entire fascinating careers. Berman, a sportscaster, recounts each event in an appropriate gee-whiz tone, which is carried over to his narration on an accompanying CD that gives play-by-play audio highlights of many of the events covered in the book. One puzzler: Berman describes Wayne Gretzky’s hometown of Brantford, Ontario (population over 90,000) as a “tiny town.“ Still, readers and browsers will enjoy paging through this compendium’s stories and action-filled photos. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning