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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook

Thomas Nelson Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook

When teenager Gutwein learned there were over 15 million AIDS orphans in Africa, he organized a free-throw marathon to raise funds. Now his Hoops for Hope has built a school and medical clinic in Zambia! Using an interactive format, he challenges his peers to respond to God's call to minister to people, animals, and the environment.
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4.8
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Customer Reviews for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Review 1 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 29, 2009
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Jill Williamson
What would happen if you decided to change the world? Think you're too young? Too poor? Too plain? Austin Gutwein was only nine when his heart was broken by the truth of AIDS orphans in Africa. More than just wanting to make a difference, Austin had to. He couldn't sit by and pretend the problem wasn't his. It took him a while, but he finally found a way. He would ask people to sponsor him to shoot free throws. That was the start of something that in now a major non profit organization. Hoops for Hope has saved a generation of Africans by providing food, clothing, education, medical supplies, and hope. Praise the Lord for a young man who wasn't willing to say, "No." His story moved me right down to the Pet rocks. I am honored to live on earth with such a courageous young man. In this book he tells his story. How it started, what he was thinking, the doubts and fears he had, and how God took his small effort and multiplied it again and again. God designed you for a purpose. Have you found your purpose yet? Read this book. It will change your life. Highly recommended.
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Review 2 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 9, 2009
Austin started Hoops of Hope, a foundation that supports international AIDS relief, and education in Africa. How do they do it? By challenging kids to have a sponsored shoot-athon, to get a donator for each basket they will shoot. He was only a nine-year old who loved playing basketball.And Take Your Best Shot tells that story. His book does not necessarily follow a linear timeline, but then it's not a random order either. We read a delightful telling of his journey to being the founder of something that raised over a million dollars. I love the Austin is continually humble, and is repeated saying that none of it would be possible without other people, and most importantly, God. This book would be most impactful to teens, but it certainly doesn't exclude adults! He provides both encouragement to get out an make a difference and the education to go about it in the right way.
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Review 3 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:December 8, 2009
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Leon Bloder
Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself by Austin Gutwein (with Todd Hillard) is the kind of book that I am going to assert my parental authority and make my 15 year-old son start reading. I know that if he begins to read it, he won't be able to put it down. Austin Gutwein was a nine year-old kid that was given the opportunity to travel to Uganda on a mission trip that would change his life. When he was confronted with the overwhelming poverty that he encountered in Africa, Austin wanted to do much more than just keep asking the question, "What could I possibly do?" He decided to raise money by doing something that he loved to do, play basketball. Austin's vision of shooting free throws for pledges grew into the Hoops for Hope program that has fund raising events all over the country. This book is filled with inspirational moments and unbelievable challenges for any of us who claim to have a heart for the poor. Sometimes, in the words of Austin, we need to get up out of our seats and take our "best shot," at making a difference.
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Review 4 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 3, 2009
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Christine M. Irvin
15-year-old Austin Gutwein, the founder of Hoops of Hope, shares his story of inspiration in his book. This remarkable young man was 9 when he saw a video by World Vision about AIDS victims in Africa. Austin wanted to do something to help, but he didnt know what. He loved to play basketball, so someone suggested he use his passion for basketball to help the cause in Africa. Thus, Hoops of Hope got its start. At first, Austins goal was to raise enough money to sponsor 8 children in Africa for 1 year. He determined that if he could make 2,057 free throws, and get enough people to sponsor him, he could raise the necessary funds. He started shooting hoops in his school gym with just his parents & a couple of friends in attendance. Word soon spread & someone from a radio station called him for an interview. Then a couple of camera crews for local TV stations showed up. Before he was done, there were almost 60 people there watching him. As a result, he not only reached his goal of 2,057 free throws & his financial goal, he had started the ball rolling so to speak.After that momentous day, instead of being content with what he had done, Austin began to wonder: What if.a thousand of my friends could do this next year? Think of all the money we could raise. By the power of the grapevine, the power of the media, the power of the Internet, & most importantly by Gods power, over 1000 kids in 6 locations in the US shot hoops the 2nd year, raising $38,000. The next year, over 10,000 people in 11 countries joined in. And the organization keeps growing, bigger each year, providing funding for all types of projects to help AIDS victims in Africa.Along with telling his remarkable story, the author includes stories about the World Vision organization & about other kids in the world who have made a difference in peoples lives. His goal is to encourage everyone to find their passion in life and make a difference. This is a story everyone should read.
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Review 5 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 12, 2009
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Heather Jones
This is a fascinating story of how God used one young man to imapact an entire region across the world that is being devastated by AIDS. Although the book is written by a teen for teens, adults will also find it inspiring and challenging. The inclusion of portions of Scripture along with questions to consider and action steps to take at the end of each chapter mean this book would work well as a devotional for teens or for lesson material for a Sunday School or youth group. The story is told by Austin himself and is well written and enthusiastically, yet humbly told.
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Review 6 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 10, 2009
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aimee buchert
For 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'.
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Review 7 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:November 2, 2009
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Kelly Harbaugh
This 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.
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Review 8 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 2, 2009
This 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.
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Review 9 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 24, 2009
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JanelleS
Everyone 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
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Review 10 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 16, 2009
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Heather
I 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/
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Review 11 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 13, 2009
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Jean
Austin Gutwein was just nine years old when he watched a video about an African AIDS orphan named Maggie. That video led him to take action, and when he did, he changed the lives of AIDS victims on the other side of the world. Austin made a difference by shooting two thousand free throws in a local gymnasium. His friends, family and community sponsored him, and he raised $3000 to help African children orphaned by AIDS. But Austin didn't stop there. He founded "Hoops of Hope", an annual event to further help AIDS victims. Since then, Austin and his "team" have accomplished far more than he ever imagined. The events he's organized have built a school and a clinic in Africa, and his vision continues to grow. Austin's book, Take Your Best Shot, is his personal narrative. It tells the story of how "Hoops of Hope" grew into a miracle, and it includes a sub-story about Austin's faith in God. With the help of co-writer Todd Hillard, Austin writes in a teen-friendly style that encourages kids to search for their own ways to make a difference as well as introduces them to a purpose-driven life through faith in God. His book is proof that one kid with a vision can indeed change the world.
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Review 12 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 12, 2009
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Tracie Nall
Have you ever wondered what faith that can change the world really looks like? The book Take Your Best Shot gives an incredible example. When Austin Gutwein was only nine years old, he saw a video from World Vision called Maggie's Story. Maggie was also nine years old; but she lived in Zambia, and she was an AIDS orphan. This four minute video sparked a passion that would eventually become the organization Hoops of Hope, an international aid group that has provided sponsorship, education and medical care to countless people in Africa. Along with the story of Hoops of Hope you are provided with a glimpse into the behind the scenes work and faith happening in Austin's life, complete with pictures.What makes this book different from other books of this genre, is that it also focuses on the reader, and inspires the reader to find their passion, look for a need and put those two together to make a change. Although it is clearly written to a teen audience, I found myself drawn into it in a powerful way. At the end of each chapter there is a discussion area, and more than once I was challenged by the Word of God and inspired to "think like a nine year old". To have faith in God removed from the overwhelming practicality of adulthood. To work to change the world, even if you just start with one person's world. It is definitely going to go on my daughter's reading list for school this year. It was a great first pick to review for Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.
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Review 13 for Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 8, 2009
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Alyssa
Im glad this teenager decided to write this book and I was given the chance to read it. This book is encouraging and inspiring. It is a reminder that, by Gods grace, kids and teens can make a difference. Its not often a book comes around that makes you want to change the world and helps you believe you can really do it. I love that Austin encourages us to put spending time with God first. At the end of chapters, there is a suggested passage of Scripture to meditate on and talk with God about. We are encouraged to see the need around us and seek out our own particular vision and passion. Do something bigger than yourself! We also get to hear the story of Hoops of Hope and other kids stories. Wow. Nothing is impossible with God! This book is easy to read, draws some interesting analogies, and manages to be funny and serious at different times. Have you ever heard of a Pet Rock? Did you know that every five seconds a child dies because of lack of food? Thats what I mean. Light-hearted and sad. It somehow works! Those who read my reviews will notice that in most books there are at least some things that bother me. Im not going to say anything negative about this book. That says something :).
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