The Little Linebacker: A Story of Determination
Author: Stephen Tulloch and Maria Dismondy
Illustrator: Heather Heyworth
Publisher: Cardinal Rule Press
Review copy: Final copy from author
Availability: June 1, 2016
Summary: Stephen is a little kid with big dreams of playing football. The odds are against him when he is tested and faced with challenges. This is a story of a boy who worked hard to defy the odds and become a leader.
Review: The Little Linebacker has a message, actually a few messages: Dream big dreams, work hard, study hard, and believe in yourself. There is a story here, but it is pretty much a message driven book. That said, I think children will enjoy seeing the dream and journey that led young Stephen Tulloch to the NFL. This is a dream many young readers share or at least can relate to in some way.
This is meant to be inspiring and I think it will succeed there. It will encourage young readers to stick with their dreams. It's a feel good book and will bring smiles to the faces of young football fans.
I appreciated the inclusion of Stephen's visits to the nursing home where his mother worked. It's always great to see inter-generational relationships in picture books.
Recommendation: The Little Linebacker will be a nice addition to a library especially if you have children with an interest in football. This book will be great with our preschool Super Bowl unit and will be useful for any teacher wanting to encourage perseverance.