Book Review: The Little Linebacker

by Cate on May 24, 2016

The Little Linebacker

Man, it’s been forever since we’ve done a book review here, either kids OR adults. We’ve been reading, apparently just not writing about it. #goals

We are no stranger to children’s book author, Maria Dismondy, and have reviewed two of her other books, The Potato Chip Champ and Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun in the past. For her newest title, she teamed up with NFL middle linebacker, Stephen Tulloch, to tell the story of how he got started with his football career in The Little Linebacker.

The book begins when Stephen is first introduced to football, and follows his childhood as he plays ball with the town league and for the school, but receiving minor set backs along the way. Similar to Dismondy’s other books, the theme of perseverance and determination is prevalent in this story as well, which is always a welcome message to drive home to our kids. No matter what obstacle came along Tulloch’s path, he received good support from friends and family and kept focused on his goal, a goal that earned him ten seasons with the NFL, a career with the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans, and the honor of being named one of the top 100 players in the NFL for two years in a row.

The book finishes with “Tully’s Tips for Kids,” basic reminders of how to achieve a happy, well adjusted childhood:

  1. Always listen to your parents.
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies.
  3. Study hard in school.
  4. Be a good teammate.
  5. Never give up.
  6. Hard work pays off.

When he’s not playing football or writing books with Dismondy, Tulloch also works with charitable organizations, including The Stephen Tulloch Foundation, a group that helps underprivileged kids build their self-esteem, realize their goals, and go after them.

The book is a cute short story, and perfect for ages 6-9. There were a few sections where it skipped ahead with the lines, “A few years later…,” and it would have been nice to fill in those gaps or not use the same phrasing each time, but other than that, it’s a fun read, and a book we’ll be sending into the school library to share.

If you choose to buy the book, be sure to print out these free downloadable coloring pages for an additional activity, along with the Reader’s Guide.

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