If Lin Can
Richard Ho, author
As a child, Richard Ho harbored perfectly reasonable career aspirations: professional basketball player, astrophysicist, and Jedi master. When he "grew up," he worked as a magazine journalist, a scriptwriter, an editor, and an author. His highly acclaimed picture books include Red Rover, The Lost Package, and Year of the Cat.
Read more about Richard.
Huynh Kim Liên and Phùng Nguyên Quang, illustrators
Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huỳnh Kim Liên are book creators who live and work together in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They have illustrated several children's books, including My First Day (which they also wrote), Hundred Years of Happiness, and The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field.
- Coming soon!
The Horn Book
Composed mostly of questions, this picture-book biography traces Jeremy Lin's uphill battle as the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Moving from his youth to his breakout 2012 game with the New York Knicks, the book shows how faith, diligence, and tenacity helped Lin weather taunts, setbacks, privation, and an agonizing NBA draft wait. The digital illustrations employ spot art to depict Lin's off-court life, while full bleeds portray on-court action and the media craze ("linsanity") surrounding his meteoric rise from obscurity. Ho prompts children to reflect on their own experiences contending with naysayers, find role models who look like them, embrace who they are, and defy stereotypes. Back matter fleshes out Lin's life story and includes an author's note and bibliography.
A pep talk featuring Jeremy Lin, the first athlete of Asian descent to play in the NBA.
“Have you ever been told that you can’t?” With growing rhetorical force, Ho asks readers if they’ve ever felt misunderstood or disheartened. “You’re not alone,” he reassures them. “Have you ever turned on a television or opened a newspaper and discovered someone who looked like you?” The author goes on to show how Lin shrugged off naysayers and those who “made fun of his size, his race, and his game.” As a professional player, he was cut from his first team and continued to warm benches. He persevered, however, until, one February night in 2012, he was at last given the opportunity to show his dazzling stuff and ignited a season of “Linsanity” with the New York Knicks. Illustrations of two solitary, Asian-presenting children alternately ignored or surrounded by scoffing peers give way to scenes of the young Lin enduring similar treatment, including, in one scene, hearing catcalls from a dark-skinned young skeptic standing next to a light-skinned one mocking Lin’s eyes. But he works through it all and is ready when his chance comes to shine. “Now ask yourself,” the author concludes, “if Lin can, why can’t I?” Good question.
A slam dunk choice for role modeling. (more information on Lin, afterword, author’s note, bibliography)
Page count: 40
81/2 x 11
Publication date: April 16, 2024