The Book Reviews – Website

May 21, 2008

Xtreme Sports Fast Track

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Xtreme Sports Fast Track

Author: Joe Layden

Page Length: 96

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Non-fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: The lives of eight race car drivers are highlighted in this book including well known Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Richard Petty. The history of racing and NASCAR’s birth are also included. This book is jam-packed with facts: some race car drivers are millionaires (similar to NBA and NFL players), racing prizes can be as much as $600,000, the creation of NASCAR streamlined 35 different racing organizations, and the popularity of stock/traditional racing in the south increased after World War II.

REVIEW: This book has a great cover! I enjoyed reading this book as it gave brief descriptions of famous race car drivers. The stories about them not only included life on the race track, but histories of their personal lives. The table of contents gave a snapshot of who was going to be discussed. One item that may cause some confusion is the fact that personal quotes of the drivers are inserted within the middle of sentences. Students may become side tracked due to the awkward placement of these quotes.

I did wish that the photographs in the book were in color. This book is one in a series of “Xtreme Sports” stories packed with statistics, quotes, charts, and tables.

Some great quotes are found on pages 9, 17, & 33.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: leads/descriptive introductions (page 4), technical vocabulary (page 14, trading paint), compare/contrast (page 44-53, Matt Kenseth vs. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – many of the drivers’ lives are similar)

RELATED BOOKS: NASCAR by Rachel Eagen, Portraits of NASCAR by Anita Rich

MOVIE, MUSIC, ART CONNECTIONS: Days of Thunder (movie – 1990), Talladega Nights (movie – 2006), race car driving TV coverage on Sundays

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.nascar.com/

http://www.winstoncupmuseum.com/

http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Stratton

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Xtreme Sports Cutting Edge

Xtreme Sports Cutting Edge  

Author: E. J. Maxwell

Page Length: 96

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Non-fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Cutting Edge is another book in the “Xtreme Sports” series. This book is interesting in that it covers lesser-known sports such as BMX racing, snow boarding, and rock climbing – all which are gaining popularity. Many things are described in the book – from Apolo Ohno’s 35mph skating speed to Dave Mirra’s successful surf of a 55 ft wave. Tori Allen shifted from ballerina to rock climber (bouldering – climbing without ropes). This book covers a wide range of sports and individuals from 14 to 30 years old. All have one thing in common – the need to be the best they can at their sport.

REVIEW: Just like the other “Xtreme Sports” books, I wished that the photographs on the inside were in color. I also wished that the name of the sport the individual participates in would be listed next to their name in the table of contents. The stories of each sports player are short enough to keep the attention of any reader. One negative aspect of this book is that students may not recognize any of the individuals highlighted. I only recognized Apolo Anton Ohno.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: comparison/contrast

RELATED BOOKS: The X Games by Jeff Savage,

MOVIE & TV CONNECTIONS: “Dancing with the Stars” TV show with Apolo Ohno, Olympics, X-Games, Gravity Games, video games

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://usolympicteam.com

www.expn.com

www.northface.com

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Stratton

Xtreme Sports Summer

Filed under: X — thebookreviews @ 9:44 pm
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Xtreme Sports Summer

Author: Joe Layden

Page Length: 96

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Non-fiction

REVIEW: This book features some less familiar sports such as wakeboarding, in-line skating, and free-style motocross. Of the 9 individuals featured (2 are brothers), I only recognized Carey Hart (boyfriend of the singer Pink). This book follows the same format as others in the “Xtreme Sports” series. As with the others, I feel that color photos would have added a nice touch to the attractiveness of the books – especially since many of the sports mentioned are best experienced in person or via video. This book contains great actions and descriptions of the sports themselves and the lives of the great athletes that take part in them.

One statement that stood out as I read, was that team sports have changed over the years. They certainly have! The number of sports in America has grown from your standard football and baseball to sports such as surfing and wakeboarding. These extreme sports are very popular among young people.

Both female and male athletes are highlighted in this book. Lisa Anderson’s parents did not want her to surf because they thought it might turn her daughter into a beach-bum and drug addict. Lisa turned out to be neither of these, becoming the first female surfer superstar. 50 year old surfer Ken Bradshaw shows that even at his age, one can do great things athletically. Andy Macdonald, skateboarder, refuses endorsements from alcohol and tobacco companies. Macdonald even fights for better health insurance for athletes like him. Bon Burnquist practices skateboarding in empty pools. These are just a few of the men and women highlighted in this book.

I recommend this book for any student interested in the sports mentioned.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: compare/contrast (page 88, Yasutoko brothers vs. Williams sisters)

RELATED BOOKS: Xtreme Sports Fast Track, Xtreme Sports Cutting Edge

MOVIE, MUSIC, ART CONNECTIONS: “Miracle Boy and Nyquist” – documentary, “Ultimate X” – IMAX film about the X Games

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://outside.away.com/index.html (Outside magazine link)

http://www.surfingmuseum.org/index1.html (International Surfing Museum)

http://www.ababmx.com/ (American Bicycle Association)

http://expn.go.com/expn/globalx/2003/story?pageName=day_one_roundup (vert ramp pix)

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Stratton

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