Rules for Becoming a Legent
Bibliographic Information
Title: Rules for Becoming a Legend

Author: Timothy S. Lane

ISBN: 978-0-670-01488-0

Publisher: Viking

Copyright: 2014

Book Details
Jacket Design: John-Patrick Thomas

Jacket Art: Bradley Brown, Getty Images

Formats: Hardcover, Kindle, Audible

Page Count: 336


Plot Summary
Jimmy “Kamikaze” Kirkus is a basketball star, destined for a legendary future in the NBA. At the age of five, he can make nine shots in a row. By high school, he’s got his own Sports Illustrated profile. To the citizens of Columbia City, it seems like he was born for the sport.

But Jimmy soon confronts the “Kirkus curse” when tragedies begin to emerge. Not even basketball can save him from his family’s sorrow-filled past. In the first chapter, he runs into a brick wall repeatedly in his high school gym, hitting the bricks head on, until he collapses in a pool of blood. He survives this and is released from the hospital in a few days, but his life, and the life of his father and grandfather.

His eventual defeat on the court echoes another disastrous legacy: Jimmy’s father, Todd “Freight Train” Kirkus — who had also dreamed of basketball stardom — was forced to give up his dream for a life defined by the curse of his name. Can Jimmy find a way to end this cycle of tragedy?

The story is told from three perspectives – Jimmy, his father, and his grandfather, each of whom are legends in their own minds. The narrative alternates between “the crash”, the days preceding it, and the past; in doing so, it tells the story of Jimmy, his father, and his grandfather.

Critical Evaluation
The story is an allegory about success and failure. Like ‘The Art of Fielding’ and ‘Friday Night Lights’, the story uses basketball to understand family, community, and hope. Populated with complex, compelling characters, it is proof that every hero is human, and sometimes triumph is born from tragedy.

Reader’s Annotation

Not just a sports story – a metaphor for life.

Information about the Author
Timothy S. Lane graduated from the University of Oregon with a journalism degree and worked as a sports reporter for The Molalla Pioneer before pursuing a career in publishing in New York City. His writing has appeared in The Good Men Project and Pology. He lives with his wife in Portland, Oregon.

Fiction, sports

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking ideas

What makes for a squandered life?
Can a man turn around who he is like he can turn around a jumpshot?

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: Grade 10 and up


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