Gr 5–8—These upbeat and engaging biographies offer a mix of anecdotes and facts, along with sidebars and color photos. Fans will enjoy learning that LeBron James maintained a B average in high school and that his favorite subject was earth science. These athletes are in their 20s and 30s, and the books neatly balance stories of the players' early lives with their considerable personal accomplishments. For instance, readers learn that soccer star Lionel Messi overcame a childhood growth hormone deficiency and that David Ortiz felt that growing up in the Dominican Republic, where he often played baseball with makeshift equipment such as bottle caps and broomsticks, helped him become a better hitter. A time line and a section on other "living legends" add context. VERDICT This well-executed set is sure to please fans and newcomers alike.