Tony Gonzalez: Catch & Connect by Tony Gonzalez with Greg Brown (Positively for Kids, $15.95). With the help of sportswriter Greg Brown, the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs offers the compelling story of his life in this fine "character-based" series featuring interesting profiles of athletes written in a lively style and including many color photographs. Gonzalez's parents were divorced when he was seven, and he and his older brother were raised in wealthy Huntington Beach, Calif. He hated youth football, but played basketball and football in high school and college. Kids will be fascinated to learn that he was bullied in middle school by two high school boys; the book includes advice about how to handle being bullied. He talks about the importance of changing your speech to fit your needs (not using "street" talk but switching to "business language" for, say, a job interview). After years of not being able to understand fans who spoke to him in Spanish, he missed workouts in Kansas City in the spring of 2004 so he could attend an intensive Spanish language program in Mexico. He also does a lot of charity work. Other books in the series have included Troy Aikman, Brad Johnson, Cal Ripken Jr and Vince Carter.
-- Jean Westmoore