Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book 1

Book review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Breezy biography tracks the rise of an NBA superstar.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Solid descriptive detail about the evolution of the modern NBA provides a good intro for young basketball fans and newcomers alike.

Positive Messages

In Steph's words, "You've got to have resiliency. You've got to have confidence in yourself, no matter how the game's going, that you can turn it around."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Steph Curry is the definition of a positive role model: incredibly hardworking and coachable, dedicated to his craft and his family, motivated by faith and a desire to be the best version of himself, and generous with his time and money.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book 1, by critically acclaimed sportswriter Dan Wetzel, is an easily digestible biography for young readers about one of the National Basketball Association's brightest stars. The book tracks the sharpshooting point guard's improbable rise from an undersized and lightly recruited high school prospect to a two-time MVP and three-time NBA champion.

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What's the story?

Written by New York Times-bestselling author and Yahoo! Sports national columnist Dan Wetzel, STEPHEN CURRY, the first of the Epic Athletes series of sports biographies for young readers, traces the life and career of the baby-faced Golden State Warriors star from his days shooting jumpers in his driveway in Charlotte to the highest heights of professional basketball. The son of NBA veteran and three-point specialist Dell Curry (his mother Sonya was also a college varsity volleyball player), Steph grew up around the game and learned early on what it takes to perform at an elite level. Despite being short and slight of build for most of his youth, Steph developed an incredible work ethic and honed his ball skills and shooting by practicing constantly. Despite dominating as a high schooler, Curry wasn't recruited by big-time college basketball programs. Instead, he wound up at tiny Davidson College in North Carolina, where he led his team in an improbable run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA March Madness tournament and first attracted national attention. As the book underscores, Steph still had a lot to learn and to prove once he reached the NBA, but he wound up surpassing everyone's expectations, leading the Dubs to three championships in four years and shattering record after record. From the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, Stephen Curry has navigated his meteoric ascent with grace, humility, and a deep reverence for the strength and support his family and faith have given him.

Is it any good?

Athletes and sports fans will appreciate this inside look at the development of one of the most exciting and skilled basketball players to emerge in this era. Even though this is very recent history, it's easy to forget just how unexpected and improbable Steph's explosion onto the NBA scene and the Golden State Warriors' coronation as a dynasty was. Wetzel's straightforward narration does a decent job of highlighting the major characteristics that have proven key to Curry's success, though Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book 1 is light on personal details and stays safely at surface level. The story is an inspirational one, although one of the paradox's of Steph's career has always been his status as both an undersized underdog and the privileged son of an NBA vet. Wetzel successfully threads the needle, making sure to emphasize the challenges Curry faced and overcame, the obstacles and letdowns he had to bounce back from, and the indescribable will to improve that made him the player and the man he is today. 

For younger fans who may have missed or forgotten Steph's early career, this bio serves as a solid introduction. The comic-style illustrations by Zeke Peña provide some visual excitement, while Wetzel's writing is smooth and effective. However, readers interested in learning more about Steph Curry's development and how his personality and personal life have factored into his success may want to turn to the stellar biography Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry, by accomplished Warriors' insider and beat writer Marcus Thompson II. While that book is written for an adult audience, the famously wholesome and kid-friendly Curry's story is tame enough to be appropriate for young readers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to become an elite athlete as shown in Stephen Curry: Epic Athletes, Book 1. How did Steph manage to exceed the expectations of critics who doubted he had the physical tools to play at the highest level? 

  • Why do you think Steph always emphasizes how important family support has been to his success? 

  • What inspiration can you take from Steph's story to help you in your own life? 

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