Brad Johnson: Play with Passion

Book review by
Whitney Stewart, Common Sense Media
Brad Johnson: Play with Passion Book Poster Image
Upbeat story of a passionate NFL quarterback.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Brad Johnson used his student-scholar earnings to create a fund for teachers. He gave much of his NFL salary to charity.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a positive book meant to inspire kids.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byChib April 9, 2008
This was a very good book

What's the story?

Some great athletes leap into their professional career; some soar. Brad Johnson crawled. Unlucky injuries put him on the bench. The competition sidelined him. But nothing stopped him. Born in Black Mountain, North Carolina, population 7,500, Johnson was surrounded by athletes. Both parents taught physical education, and they equipped their son with all the necessary bats, balls, hoops, and mitts.

In high school, Johnson played varsity basketball and football. But by his freshman year at Florida State University, he knew his game was on the field. Becoming starting quarterback was a challenge. Johnson worked with a sports psychologist who taught him focus and dedication. Constant training finally earned him college success and a position with the Minnesota Vikings.

Johnson's NFL career was never magical. Some seasons looked golden until injuries took him out. The Vikings traded him to the Washington Redskins, and later he signed with Tampa Bay. In 2002, Johnson helped the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl, and Black Mountain, North Carolina welcomed him back as a hometown hero. When his NFL career comes to an end, Johnson just may follow his parents and coach young athletes.

Is it any good?

Sports fans will love the spunky, colorful style of this book. Johnson's first-person narrative leads the reader from page to page of football action. Small type on the bottom of many pages reveals little-known Johnson facts. And the end matter offers Brad Johnson career stats and a Web site list.

Brad Johnson's story is part autobiography, part motivational lecture. Teamed with series author Greg Brown, Johnson uses personal stories to persuade readers to follow their passions and give life their best effort. This preachy style might turn off some kids but inspire others.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of his favorite sayings: "Don't let your passion blind your compassion," and "Even if you are not the best, you can still give it your best."

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