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Author: Catherine Gibson

Illustrator: Janice Hechter

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Publisher: For Children With Love Publications, 2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: Stefan loves football. He hopes to be a Falcon one day. With little reminders from current players that he is not one of them (like pushing books out of his hand), Stefan isn't sure how to break through. With help from Coach Bob, Stefan makes the team and learns that life is about goals and pushing yourself. This picture book is about a young boy and his coach, who is in a wheelchair. It is inspired by a real story.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 9 to 11

Age of Child: Read with an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter listened as we read the book, and seemed to be really concentrating on the illustrations. She was very interested (and kept asking about) the accident that put Coach Bob in a wheelchair. [This isn't answered in the book.] She liked that Coach Bob could help Stefan and that they were friends.

Adult Reader Reaction: The premise is great, and the relationship between Stefan and Coach Bob develops naturally. I also like the empathy that Stefan shows by narrating the story. Unfortunately, other parts of the book are not as well developed and are disjointed. It took some time to figure out definitively that Stefan and his friends were trying out for the team.

Pros: Parents looking for a story about empathy, mentors, and goals for their sports-minded kids will find Coach Bob and Me to be a good choice to read.

Cons: The quality of the story is undermined by some of the gaps in storytelling. One reviewer commented that this is about high school, but that isn't clear in the story.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This story has a wonderful message and it DOES come through. It just may take a couple of readings.

If You Liked This Book, Try: SHAWN SHEEP THE SOCCER STAR   INTERFERENCE (Sports Stories Series)   FOOTBALL DOUBLE THREAT (Matt Christopher)

Educational Themes: There are several layers to this story: empathy, sportsmanship, and personal goals. The author didn't make a big deal about bullying type behavior, but there are references that can be used to talk about feelings, choices, and consequences.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, sports, life lessons, growing up

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2015

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at


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