Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Among the Giants

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Familius (October 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939629322
The sound of the basketball slapping the floor echoed hollowly in the gym, as I began working it playfully with my hands. Planning my next move, I locked eyes with my opponent. I noticed small beads of sweat beginning to form in the furrow between his eyebrows. My heart was pounding, and my nerves tightened in response . . . but slowly a smile formed on my lips. Here I was, 5’8” Jesse LeBeau, going one on one with basketball superstar Kevin Durant . . . and I was making him sweat! As I started to make my move on him, I briefly wondered, "How did a skinny kid from a small town in Alaska ever get the chance to do this?" Here I was, involved in the filming of the 2012 Warner Brother's basketball movie Thunderstruck, playing against the NBA scoring champion! It shouldn't have happened. I didn't fit the profile and anyone would have told you that. But I did make it, despite the odds. And here is my story . . .

Growing up as an undersized white basketball player on a remote island in Alaska, Jesse had nearly every chip stacked against him. Yet despite his size and circumstances, he managed to rise above it all and make it to the big screen in Hollywood. With only the love of the game of basketball and the tenacity to follow a dream driving him, Jesse’s persistence has led him to star in national commercials and movies with some of the most recognizable celebrities and professional athletes in the world. More importantly, he found a way to tweak the system and alter his dream and get paid to do what he loves to . . . every day! Be inspired by his story and learn the keys to successfully creating a life that is uniquely yours.

My Impressions:

Anytime a book is wrote for kids I always want to read it to my kids and see what they like about it and what was lacking from their view point. After all, they are the attended audience. Since I was reading this book to 3 different children, at different stages in life that are 8, 15 and 19 I really thought one of them would not like it, which is pretty normal, but I was surprised that they all enjoyed the book and got something out of it. My sons love basketball. Will they ever play professionally, probably not. That's what I adored about this book though and what they liked about it as well.  It was a great motivational book for chasing yoour dreams, even if they are not exactly what you hoped originally they would be.

Jesse lays out 28 different life lessons that he has discovered chasing his dreams. These life lessons are easy to relate to and apply to your own life as well. What it really came down to though was hard work, dedication, a fighters spirit, your attitude and belief in something outside of yourself. My kids can relate to this, Ive been drilling these concepts into them since they were little, but as kids tend to do, hearing it from someone else makes it sink in and applicable to life.

My daughter really loved the QR codes that allowed her to go and watch different commercials, videos and links to other websites. Since she is a very visual learner, adding these QR codes really sold her on the book and drove home concepts that Jesse was talking  about. It gave the book a great sense of engagement with the reader that I have never seen done before. Plus, it did not hurt any for Jesse to be young and attractive. That is always a nice way to get a teenage girl interested in a topic!

For such a young man to write something so powerful and engaging is extraordinary.  It was an encouragement to read about this young mans struggles, his passion for life and his ability to overcome adversity that would have kept many down, but instead Jesse used those trials and struggles to strengthen himself and push forward. Easy book to recommend to all teens.


Jesse LeBeau Jesse LeBeau is an American actor, professional streetball player, author and motivational speaker. He is also the founder of the celebrity youth program The Fab4 Takeover.

His upcoming book 'Among The Giants' is set to release in October of 2014. In it he reflects on the lessons learned throughout his life, and how to use your passion and gifts to create the life you've only imagined living!

Working with kids and giving back to the community is very close to his heart. Jesse's passion for inspiring and encouraging young people is something that drives him to excel. He aspires to reach the highest levels of success with the hope that it will extend his reach and platform allowing him to positively influence the lives of as many people, particularly the youth, as possible.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from goddessfish promotions in exchange for my honest opinion and review which I have given.
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