Lucas King: NL’s youngest ‘Book critic’

Our youngest book reviewer, eleven year old reader Lucas King, shares his thoughts on Carl English’s inspiring Chasing A Dream


My name is Lucas King. I am 11 years old. I am from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. I am a huge St. John’s Edge and basketball fan. This is a book review on basketball sensation, Carl English’s new book Chasing a Dream. The book is published by Flanker Press.

Family tragedy

Carl grew up in Patrick’s Cove, Newfoundland. The book begins by telling readers about the tragedy Carl went through when he lost both parents in a fire. Carl was only five at the time. It was devastating to him and his four brothers.

After he lost his parents, Carl moved in with his uncle Junior McGrath and his Aunt Betty. His uncle was like a dad to him. During his school years, Carl passed a lot of his time shooting basketballs into a homemade net that his uncle helped him build.

The book tells the story of the ups and downs of his life as a professional basketball player.

He made a name for himself by playing for Canada and was determined to make it into the NBA. He went into the draft thinking he would be drafted as everybody was telling him that would happen.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It was very emotional and heartbreaking for Carl as all of his hard work and strong efforts seemed to be in vain.

An amazing story

The book also talks about NBA training camps and how every time he didn’t make an NBA team, when he’d go to another training camp, he and his future wife Mandy would have to move. That had to be very hard on the both of them.

Carl and Mandy now have three kids and readers learn how when they started having children, Carl’s career was very hard on him and his wife as they had to move away from their home a lot, depending on who he was playing for.

The pictures in the book help tell the amazing story about Carl’s professional basketball career in this country and in other parts of the world.

One of the saddest chapters in the book is when Carl’s Uncle Junior dropped dead right in front of him. Uncle Junior’s death brought back memories of when Carl’s Mom and Dad died.

Carl was away from Newfoundland for over 20 years when he came back to play with the St. John’s Edge. During his first season he was named Most Valuable Player and Canadian of the Year for the NBL.

Proud to be Edge fans

When you hear the words St. John’s Edge, you immediately think of Carl English. He was the icon of the team for two years and made us proud to be Edge fans.

What I like best about the book is that it is very inspiring. As Carl said in the book “Never doubt yourself, never stop chasing your dreams, and always believe the impossible.”

I play hockey, basketball and soccer and even kids my age have challenges to face when we don’t make teams we try out for. But, like Carl, I have learned not to give up and to keep trying harder.

As someone who doesn’t know Carl personally, I do know that he is a very nice human being off the basketball court. I have seen him in public and he has always taken time out of what he was doing to say hello to boys and girls of all ages. He smiles a lot and seems very kind.

When I was watching the news and heard Carl had a book coming out, I couldn’t wait to get it but was wondering if it was appropriate for my age. I took a chance and began reading it. I sure wasn’t disappointed. I would recommend this book to adults and to kids my age and older who like reading.

This is my first book review and Carl’s inspiring words about believing in yourself gave me the confidence to write this review and share my personal opinion with others.

Thank-you for reading my book review and thank-you Carl for being such a great role model.

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