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Becoming Kareem  By  cover art

Becoming Kareem

By: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
Narrated by: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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Publisher's summary

SLJ Best Book, 2017

NAACP Image Award nominee, 2017

The first memoir for young listeners by sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

At one time Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with "coaches" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him and his drive to find his own path in life are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiriting journey.

Written especially for young listeners, Becoming Kareem chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar become the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

* "In our current moment when black athletes are joining the national confrontation with the nation's overwhelming legacy of racial injustice, few are better suited to provide context than Abdul-Jabbar.... Wrestling with what it means to be black, determining his own responsibility and capacity to respond to injustice, and becoming the "kindest, gentlest, smartest, lovingest version" of himself takes center stage in this retelling of the early part of his life. Like the author's unstoppable skyhook, this timely book is a clear score."—Kirkus, starred review

* "More than a play-by-play sports story, it's an honest, powerful exposition of what it means to be black in white America, offering a de facto history of the civil rights movement."—Booklist, starred review

* "This timely and unforgettable memoir is essential for middle and high school collections, and affords rich opportunities for classroom and book club discussions."—SLJ, starred review

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What listeners say about Becoming Kareem

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