Kobe Bryant The Author - News

We live in an era of innovation, including in literature. Many young readers think they don’t like reading… until they find the right book.


Kobe Bryant, 41, died on Sunday, January 25 in a helicopter tragedy.


Most will remember him for his NBA career, instead of his dream of storytelling.

Bryant was more proud of his short film, “Dear Basketball,” than his basketball accomplishments, and talks often about how much he loves storytelling. The short film is based on one of his own poems.


While he was a kid, Bryant didn’t care much for reading because he struggled to find material that was interesting to him. And of course, he loved basketball.


Bryant recalls that he once failed to write a short story that he would need to share in English class. So, he made it up on the spot.


His English teacher at the time, Jeanne Mastriano, encouraged him to develop his storytelling abilities. In an interview, Bryant told USA Today, “She firmly believed that storytelling could change the world. And she opened my eyes to this passion I didn't know existed.”


To fulfill that life goal, the basketball legend recently wrote a middle-grade fantasy series in partnership with YA writer Wesley King.





Bryant says that the goal of the book is “teaching valuable life lessons to the next generation, with whatever they hope to do,” which he told Parade in an interview.


The Wizenard series describes a group of inner-city kids whose new basketball coach uses magic to increase not only their basketball abilities but their personal growth. Bryant also said he wanted to encourage children to develop their own “inner magic” through the book.


Kirkus Reviews called the book “unusual in structure and plot as readers experience the same incidents portrayed through different perspectives, each revealing another layer of the story.”


The story focuses on low-income, diverse kids who overcome weaknesses, fears, and struggles in order to become better basketball players and better people. Every chapter includes a proverb like this one: "Everyone has a choice every moment of the day. Look, or look away.”


We all remember being a kid with struggles.

Book characters can be powerful role models for readers who need to see themselves as survivors.





Further, Bryant’s book blurs genre lines. There are plenty of sports books, sure, and plenty of fantasies, especially for young adults. But how many sports fantasies are there? Not many.


Bryant’s life and career have been controversial, as is his book. He wrote in a controversial format, and as an outsider to the storytelling world. Still, his book is inventive; few books are geared toward his particular audience. It’s an audience without much representation, but that is changing – partially through writers like Bryant and King.


Kobe Bryant will hopefully be remembered for his literary goals as well as his basketball success. And hopefully, others will follow his example and write creative, outside-the-box works that reach kids of all types – not just the privileged and the average. As we create new genres and formats for new generations, let us remember the ability of books to inspire those who need it most.

If you like reading this blog, please consider contributing to our Patreon page.

About The Blogger

Sarah Beach is a writer, editor, and researcher with an intense need for herbal tea. She writes about a variety of subjects, including social media, mental health, memes, and holistic wellness. Sarah is a graduate student in the field of Communication Studies and teaches rhetoric. She is also a registered Reiki practitioner and enthusiastic ukulele player. When she’s not writing, you can find her wandering aimlessly outdoors or watching period dramas.

Learn More Of The Blogger

Her Site - Her Blog - Her Twitter Page

Follow us

on social 

media

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
RSS Feed

"The phrase “writing is rewriting” has been uttered by the lips of a multitude of writers. Nonwriters do not know this.I didn’t know this until I wrote a novel with the intent to submit it to a literary agent." - Stacey Walden

READ THE REST

"It is not an exaggeration to say the world would be different if St. Patrick didn’t exist." - Greg Luti

READ THE REST

"Oscar Wilde is well known for his epigrams, as brevity is the soul of wit (as Shakespeare said). Wilde’s use of short, succinct and snappy sayings seems to mirror his ability to say a great deal in very few words, as in his short stories

READ THE REST

BLOG CATEGORIES

OP-ED PIECES

REVIEWS

NEWS

BOOKS IN SCHOOL

BEST EVER

POETRY

SHORT STORIES

AUTHOR HIGHLIGHT

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

© 2019 Pens and Words. All Rights Reserved