Thanks to Revell for a review copy of Catch a Falling Star by Tamika Catchings — post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
I know, you regulars are probably thinking,”She’s reviewing a book about a basketball star?” I’ll be the first to admit that Catch a Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion isn’t my typical read. It’s the story of Tamika Catchings, who played in the WNBA (that’s professional women’s basketball, for those of you — like me — who aren’t real athletic). One of my most memorable moments in the dreaded PE class involved basketball. Our very stern middle school PE teacher threw a few basketballs onto the court, then instructed our class of 7th grade girls that each of us had to make 3 baskets before sitting down. One by one, my classmates accomplished this (or pretended they had). Eventually, it was just awkward, clumsy me out there, throwing up that ball over and over again. When it became clear that it would most likely take the entire class time before I made those elusive three baskets, the teacher finally told me, “Just sit down.” Oh, the humiliation …
I chose to review the book largely because I thought my dad would enjoy it. He is a huge sports fan, and in fact he has taken me to an Indiana Fever game. That’s Indianapolis’ women’s pro basketball team. I remember him pointing out one of the team stars, Tamika Catchings. So when I saw that she had written a book, I had that connection. I thought I might enjoy the book myself, before passing it along to my dad.
Tamika had an interesting life. She had moderate hearing loss as a child, but didn’t usually wear the ugly big hearing aids she had. In fact, once she threw them away (her mom searched for them to no avail). She was great at basketball, and that became her escape. It was interesting to read about the time in high school when colleges were hoping to recruit her. She mentioned fixing her room nice so that the coach would be impressed, and about going to the mall with a recruiter. It amazed me. Can you imagine getting that kind of treatment? I was valedictorian at my high school, and I can tell you nobody was recruiting me. I know, I know — we need sports to pay for colleges. Still …
Tamika had amazing success with basketball. Her college team at the University of Tennessee went on to be national champions her freshman year.
I related to Tamika and I liked her personality. She wrote: “I think sometimes people see me as a driven, no-nonsense person, and maybe they miss the deeper things inside me. I don’t know, but maybe because of my hearing loss, through the years the world outside has been more distant for me than for other people, and maybe I’ve developed more of a private, inner life instead. I think deeply, feel deeply, but those things don’t often come out visibly to other people.”
The faith aspect of the book was pretty understated. As Tamika said, “I have never been one to be extremely vocal about much of anything, and besides, I knew how some Christians come across to others, and I didn’t want to be too pushy like that.” Honestly, you’ll want to read this book much more for its sports aspects than its Christian angle, because there isn’t a whole lot.
Understandably, the book was very basketball-themed. There was lots of talk about specific plays and specific games. While this wasn’t that compelling to me, I can see this being great for those who love basketball. The writing style was very simple and basic, so I’d especially recommend this book to the reluctant teen reader who enjoys sports.
Other books read this month:
The Quality of Silence — thriller set in remote Alaska.
Half Broke Horses — highly recommended biography of an impressive woman who lived in the early 1900s; by the author of Glass Castle.
What have you been reading lately? You can see what others have been reading at 5MinutesforBooks.