Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator), Roslyn M. Jordan
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Before basketball star Michael Jordan's name was uttered reverently in households all over the planet, young Michael was just a shrimpy kid trying to play ball with the big boys in the neighborhood. Tired of being teased by the biggest boy on the court, Michael is convinced the only solution is to grow taller. His mama smilingly suggests putting salt in his shoes and saying a prayer every night. His daddy tells young Michael that "Being taller may help you play a little better, but not as much as practice, determination, and giving your best will. Those are the things that make you a real winner." And so they are. At 6-foot-6, Michael may not have grown up to be the tallest player on the court, but he sure did turn out to be one of the best!
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As his mother and his sister, Deloris Jordan and Rosalyn Jordan are in a pretty good position to tell us all about what made Michael a star. They create an image of a cozy, loving family life any child would be happy to come home to. Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson's oil pictures of the gangly little Michael with hyperlong arms and oversized hands capture the preteen potential as well as his gawky grace. This warm, uplifting story will encourage young readers to chase their dreams with hard work and faith.