Friday, November 7, 2014

The Contract

Title:  The Contract
Author:  Derek Jeter with Paul Mantell
Publication Information:  Jeter Publishing. 2014. 176 pages.
ISBN:  1481423126 / 978-1481423120

Book Source:  I read this book because it is Derek Jeter's first venture after his retirement from New York Yankees.

Favorite Quote:  "You just stick to your dream, and keep working hard toward it. Never mind what anybody says about it being 'realistic.' It's realistic as long as you're working to make it real."

Guest Post - An Eleven Year Old's Perspective

The Contract by Derek Jeter is the debut book for newly retired baseball player Derek Jeter. He has stepped off the field and into publishing. His debut book, The Contract, is about his own early life. From the school yard to the baseball fields.

It was Derek's dream to grow up and become the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He worked with his parents to form a contract saying that:

  • He would do all his homework.
  • His grades in school would be the best he could do.
  • He would practice baseball.
  • He would do all his chores.

If he did all that, he would get rewards like going to a Yankees game.

I read this book because it was about Derek Jeter. I thought this book was very well written and entertaining. The book is very relatable because it is about his childhood. I can relate to things like chores, arguments, fairness, and fun.

This book is also about the sport of baseball. He spends time playing and practicing. I like baseball, especially the New York Yankees, and I like reading about it.

The book talks about Derek Jeter's dream and how he works toward it. It doesn't seems like everything goes his way or that everything is perfect. It was is realistic because he has challenges in his way just like the rest of us.

I recommended this book for people who like baseball, especially the New York Yankees.

My review

A young Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. Many laugh at his dream and write it off as a dream of a youngster and a dream he'll grow out of. He, however, has the full support of his parents, who teach him that all dreams are possible as long as you are willing to pursue them through your actions.

This book specifically tells the story of one little league season in which Derek faces many challenges - not being recruited to the team he hopes for, not being chosen for the position he wants, viewing what he feels is favoritism towards another player, and trying to balance his love of baseball with the responsibilities in his life like chores and school work.

The question being raised about this book is what if this book was not about Derek Jeter? Then, it's just about a kid who dreams of being a great baseball player - a dream shared by many at that age. Most are not good enough and do not turn that dream into reality. Does that make this book unrealistic? To me, the question is moot. The book is about Derek Jeter, a 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion who played seasons with the New York Yankees. Knowing what we know about his history and his career, the book makes sense. The book works.

The biggest positive of this book is that here is someone who knows he is a role model to so many children. Here is someone who is making the conscious choice to use his influence for to positively impact children. As a parent, I can speak about the book to my children in two ways. First, of course, is the content of the book itself. The book is about having dreams, setting goals, and working hard to achieve those goals. Second is the fact of this book and of Derek Jeter's new venture into publishing. Here is an athlete who reached the top of his field and has now reached the end of a career. Instead of regretting that end, here he is beginning a brand new adventure and a brand new career. So, too, life can be for us. The achievement of a goal or the end of a venture can transition right into new beginnings.

So, is the main character, a little bit too perfect? Yes, but it works. For the target audience (ages 8-12, grades 3-7) and because of who the author is, it works.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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