Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than YourselfAustin Gutwein, Todd HillardThomas Nelson / 2009 / Trade Paperback$8.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 13 Reviews
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aimee buchert5 Stars Out Of 5November 10, 2009aimee buchertFor nine year old Austin Gutwein his life was normal until his dad pops in a video from world vision. At hearing the story of a young African girl, he realizes that he has to do something to help her and kids like her. His incredibly encouraging story tells of how a simple act of playing basketball can raise millions of dollars. While sharing his story of how the 'Hoops of hope' organization develops he helps you to let go of your natural human selfishness and how God can transform you through it all. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, all the while feeling on fire for ministries like his. I am a book reviewer of 'Thomas Nelson Book Reviews'.
Kelly@Tabithas-Team4 Stars Out Of 5November 2, 2009Kelly@Tabithas-TeamThis book will inspire you to dream like a child. Austin Gutwein, founder of Hoops for Hope, walks you through his story of taking action on his dream. Moved by a video about orphans in Africa, 9-year-old Austin decided that he needed to do something to help. Austin took his passion, basketball, and found a way to use it to make a difference. God took his simple obedience and multiplied it into something bigger than Austin ever could have planned on his own.This book is written to a teenage audience. It challenges teens to become part of something bigger than themselves and to build their life on things that don't expire. Austin tells his readers to dream big and be available to God to act on those dreams. This is not a "you can do anything you put your mind to" book. It is a "with God all things are possible so act on your faith" book. I am a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson, and chose to review this book to consider it for my teenager. I am excited to pass this inspiring example on to him.
Nel FastenauWillard, MOAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5November 2, 2009Nel FastenauWillard, MOAge: 55-65Gender: femaleThis is a story of 9-year-old Austin who steps out on faith and realizes God can use him and you. A short movie by World Vision about a girl named Maggie who was the same age as Austin changed his world forever. And instead of sitting back and doing nothing like a lot of us adults, he listened to Gods call, and Hoops of Hope was born.Austin realized he could use something that he loved to do and make a difference in the world. This book takes you to Africa where you can see through Austins eyes what motivated him. It is a very moving book that has you wiping tears as you cheer him on. It shows you what God has accomplished through the free throws of a young boy. It challenges you to find something you are good at and make a difference in this world. Austin helped raise enough money for international Aids relief to build a school and a medical clinic. What can you do?This book was wonderful. If I were still a youth leader, every one of my teens would be reading it. Every adult should read the book and figure out what God is calling you to doI review for Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.
JanelleS5 Stars Out Of 5October 24, 2009JanelleSEveryone in this world has needs. "Some are lonely. Some are struggling to find God. Some are sick, and some are hungry. Some people need clean water, and some people just need a friend. There may be an elderly lady down your street who needs her lawn mowed, or a lonely kid in your class who needs someone to sit with at lunch. Stop and think for a moment. Can you see a face in need?"Throughout this book, written by Austin Gutwein, that theme of helping people and thinking beyond ourself is felt. "Take Your Best Shot" begins with the moment that Austin, a nine year old boy, realizes his "Maggie Moment"...life is bigger than himself and that "You have one life. Do something." Austin isn't just touched by emotion for a few moments, his life was changed forwever and this book is about how his life changed. He began a fundraiser for children in Africa that are starving and have no parents, no family, and their lives have been devastated by HIV. But his vision didn't just stop there, it was only the beginning. He began Hoops of Hope where thousands of children now can raise money for these children.This is an outstanding book for pre-teens and teens. It has a short devotional, thought provoking section at the end of each chapter for the reader to dig into and to consider. This is very easy to read and to understand and will definitely recommend this book to friends.~This book was free from Thomas Nelson for being a online book reviewer
Heather4 Stars Out Of 5October 16, 2009HeatherI just finished reading the book Take Your Best Shot by Austin Gutwein and Todd Hillard. As a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishing, I was initially drawn to this story after learning that it was written by a 14-year-old boy who decided to do something to make a difference to victims of HIV/AIDS in Africa. The story is written to teens but should be read by everyone. It's a very easy read about a boy who followed his heart and used his passion to allow God to work through him to touch the lives of tens of thousands of people.I was immediately drawn in to the story and wanted to know how Austin was able to start something so big. (However, in the first chapter, the cynic in me came out when I read that he was a member of Rick Warren's - of Purpose Driven Life - church. I thought, "well there ya go, he has connections and that's how he was able to do this and get a book published about what he's done. But I kept reading anyway and I am glad I did. Although I am certain that knowing Rick Warren didn't hurt, especially in his book publishing endeavors, it seems that knowing God was what brought this boy true success.)Anyway, I enjoyed reading of the inspiration and the work and the joy that came from Hoops of Hope. As a homeschool mom, I plan to use the book as curriculum for my 13-year-old son. I love the short, easy chapters and the questions at the end of each chapter, which also incorporate verses from the Bible. I know that this book got me to thinking about things I can do to change my corner of the world, even if that's just by changing my relationships with the people I am in direct contact with. I can do my part and support those around me in doing theirs. Overall, I give this one a thumbs up, especially for teenagers who might need a little encouragement and reminding of how much they matter and what a difference they can make if they let God use them. http://brb.thomasnelson.com/