Who Is Tom Brady? by James Buckley Jr., illustrated by Gregory Copeland

Who Is Tom Brady? by James Buckley Jr., illustrated by Gregory Copeland. Penguin Workshop, 2021. 9780593387412

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Paperback

Genre: Biography

What did you like about the book? This quick, fact-filled overview of the life and career (so far) of the GOAT – quarterback Tom Brady – will be in high demand in New England, and maybe in Tampa too.  Raised in California in a very supportive but highly competitive family, Brady’s first sport was baseball so he didn’t discover his love for football until high school.  He worked hard to get noticed, and was recruited by the University of Michigan.  He was still not the coach’s top choice for quarterback, but strove to prove himself, taking advantage of any opportunity to train and get in a game.  Even though he was picked 199th in the 2000 NFL draft, he continued to hone his solid work ethic and leadership skills on his way to becoming the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots for nearly twenty years, winning 6 Super Bowls over that time span.  The book is very up-to-date, as it includes Brady’s current role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (he is even depicted in a Bucs jersey on the cover).

Prolific sports nonfiction writer James Buckley presents a straightforward, unbiased report on this very popular figure. As he chronicles detailed information about Brady’s career, Buckley focuses on Brady’s well-known health regimen and work routine, touches briefly on the “Deflate-gate” controversy, and includes some information about his family. Students who need a resource for a biography project will find sufficient information here, and young fans of the GOAT will enjoy learning more about his life and might be inspired by his perseverance and patience.  Black and white sketches of actual photographs are well-placed through the slim volume, and timelines and a bibliography are included.

Anything you did not like about the book?  A few real photographs instead of illustrations would be appreciated.  There is one picture of the famous “Snow Bowl” game and the sketch just doesn’t do it justice.

To whom would you recommend this book? Brady is such a legend here in New England even after his departure, football fans in grade 2 and up will be clamoring for a copy, despite the cover illustration!  

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Biography

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: October 18, 2021

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