Vince Carter: Choose Your Course

Book review by
Whitney Stewart, Common Sense Media
Vince Carter: Choose Your Course Book Poster Image
An inspirational autobiography of an NBA All-Star.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Vince Carter chose to stay away from drugs and alcohol in high school and college. With his first NBA earnings he started a foundation for under-privileged children and their families.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the book's focus is on Vince Carter's positive and balanced attitude toward success and defeat.

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What's the story?

Vince Carter grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida, competing in soccer, football, tennis, volleyball, track, and basketball. He also played in school bands for seven years. Struggling through his parents' divorce, he developed a positive attitude to carry him forward. In his senior year of high school, Carter earned seventy-six college scholarships for either basketball or music. Choosing to play basketball for the University of North Carolina, he also promised his mother to stay in school. With one college year left, Carter put his name into the 1998 National Basketball Association draft. The Toronto Raptors selected him, and he rose quickly in the NBA ranks.

In 2000, Carter joined the United States Olympic basketball team for competition in Sydney, Australia. Playing with determination, he helped the team win gold. This medal meant more to him than any NBA title. Remembering his promise to his mother, Carter attended summer classes and earned his college degree in African-American studies. To him, all of his NBA wins were less important than finishing school. Carter continues to be an All-Star both on and off the court.

Is it any good?

Vince Carter's autobiography reads like a pep talk to kids. In a casual first-person narrative, Carter (with co-author Greg Brown) makes the point that having a positive attitude and getting an education will lead to success. Missing here is an in-depth look at Carter's life, but from what he reveals, the man is a great role model.

Basketball fans will love Carter's NBA stories and the stop-action color photographs. The multi-colored, multi-styled typeface gives this book a sports-magazine look. Fun facts on the bottom of many pages are worth reading. An index, a brief Web site list, and a description of Carter's foundation in the end pages will help young readers learn more about this athletic hero.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Vince Carter became a basketball legend, while his younger brother Chris made poor choices and went to jail.

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