Thursday, January 12, 2012

Read Love Reviews:
Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey

Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey by Tim Tebow
with Nathan Whitaker

Pub. Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: PDF, 216pp
Age Range: 9 and up
ISBN-13: 9780310723455 (Hardcover print edition)
Source: NetGalley

Synopsis from
Meet Tim Tebow: He grew up playing every sport imaginable, but football was his true passion. Even from an early age, Tim has always had the drive to be the best player and person that he could be. Through his hard work and determination, he established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of college football and as a top prospect in the NFL.
Now, in Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey, he shares the behind-the-scenes details of his life, on and off the football field. Tim writes about his life as he chooses to live it, revealing how his Christian faith, his family values, and his relentless will to succeed have molded him into the person and the athlete he is today.

My Review: 

Before you judge Tim Tebow, I suggest you read this book. When I saw this was available at NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. It is a "Young Readers" edition of Tebow's New York Times Bestselling autobiography, Through My Eyes. Not having read the original, I can't tell you how this printing differs. However, I can tell you that the book is very easy to read, and if you are curious about what makes Tim Tebow tick, then you'll probably plow right through it. I certainly did!

I'm very glad to have read the book. All I knew about Tim Tebow prior to reading it is that he isn't afraid to speak about his faith. And when the football world was swept up by "Tebow Time" as he racked up comeback wins for the Denver Broncos this year, I began to take notice. I wanted to know more about this polarizing quarterback. I can honestly say that this book made me a fan.  That's right -- I'm Team Tebow!

I learned a lot about Tim Tebow. For instance, I didn't know that he has dyslexia, that he was primarily homeschooled, or that he grew up on a farm. I enjoyed discovering how his background, his family, and his faith has shaped him. It was interesting to see how his father used life events as teaching points. Tim relates a story about a "controlled burn" on the farm that got out of hand. Daddy Tebow used the occurrence to teach his children a lesson about the damage that words can cause.

I learned that from his birth, Tim Tebow has been a determined survivor and competitor. Reading his related memories and stories -- whether it's about playing t-ball, enduring challenging work outs, or partaking in friendly family competitions -- it's clear that Tim has always had a strong will to be and do the best he can. 

While he is strong-willed and determined, he is also sensitive and emotional. Without apology, he shares that he sometimes cries after a loss. He also relates his emotional phone call to then Alabama coach, Mike Shula, as well as his famous post-game promise after a devastating loss as a Florida Gator. Tim is an admitted people-pleaser. He shares a story about going to a theme park despite his inability to ride on amusement park rides of any kind without getting sick. Not wanting to let people down, he answered their calls to make an appearance and endured a roller coaster ride. Not without consequence, though! Poor Tebow.

Of course, any book by Tim Tebow would be incomplete if he didn't mention his faith. Each chapter of the book begins with a quote from scripture. The Bible verses are well-chosen and integrate with the chapters to illustrate a season in his life and support what he was learning. Tim talks about moments of personal faith decisions, explains why he prays during games (you may be surprised to hear that he does not hesitate to admit that God doesn't necessarily take sides), relates lessons he has learned, shares his passion for missions work and helping children and orphans, and generally gives clear insight into what motivates and inspires him.

Having read Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey,  it's easy to see how Tim Tebow has been able to successfully face the challenges that have come his way. Despite struggling at the conclusion of the 2011 NFL regular season, he surprised his doubters and nearly silenced his critics with a solid performance in a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a performance that relied on his ability to throw the ball to move the chains, rather than on his feet and general athleticism. Don't count this guy out. Tebow has a never-say-die attitude, bolstered by his faith and his hard work, that helps him weather adversity and come out stronger.

To conclude, Tim Tebow is a hard-working young man of character, determination, and strength. In addition to these things, he is also compassionate and sensitive. I can't think of a better example for children to follow. Not only will this book be easy for children to read, but it will inspire them to dream and, just as importantly, it will encourage them to do the hard work necessary to make those dreams a reality.


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