Dale Earnhardt

Destined to Race

Children - Non-Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 12/20/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race by Deborah Ann Hunt and Scott Murphy is a biography of the NASCAR legend - Dale Earnhardt Sr. – for young readers. The famous driver immediately comes to mind when we think about American stock car racing or NASCAR. It is not surprising because Dale Sr. was the face of NASCAR for many years. Those years were a struggle, for the future champion didn’t have a lot of money when he started in the most competitive racing series on Earth. It was a time of great accomplishments, historic wins, and heartwarming acts of charity, for Dale was as kind off the track as he was intimidating on it. Hunt and Murphy also speak about Earnhardt's legacy, like his immensely popular son, Dale Jr., and his concerns about racing safety.

Dale Earnhardt is a great read for children from eight years of age, in my opinion, who love to learn more about the origins of NASCAR and one of its most accomplished racers; adult NASCAR fans and fans-to-be will be very engaged as well. I have been a NASCAR follower for a long time and have read some articles about Dale Sr., but Deborah Ann Hunt and Scott Murphy impressed me with many fascinating facts and anecdotes about Earnhardt, which I did not know. I appreciate the fact that Earnhardt's background was very well-researched by these authors. Scott Murphy graciously shared his experience regarding NASCAR racing. I could not agree more that Earnhardt is a constant inspiration for those who refuse to give up, just like him. The illustrations by Nikki May are simple, yet Dale Sr. is easily recognizable in them, as are many racing scenes and situations. This book paints a clear picture of how NASCAR operates and will enlarge children’s vocabulary with many new terms, like head restraints or roll cages. Overall, Dale Earnhardt is a touching tribute to Dale Sr. and part of his everlasting legacy.

Joe Wisinski

Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race by Deborah Ann Hunt is the story of the racing legend’s life. It’s written for children and tells about Earnhardt’s life briefly, yet enough to acquaint readers with who he was. The book starts with his early life and delves into the most important parts of his career. In addition to Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the book provides brief biographies of his children and grandchildren. The author also writes about the safety measures that were put into place after Earnhardt’s fatal crash in 2001. She also provides the background of auto racing and even informs readers about how the financial arrangements between racing teams, sponsors, and advertising work. For those who want to know yet more, the book provides an extensive list of references.

I knew little about Dale Earnhardt, so I chose to review this book specifically because I wanted to learn more about him. Because Earnhardt died in 2001, I think most children would be in the same position, not having much knowledge of Earnhardt. This book will acquaint them with the man who won an amazing 76 races. Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race should also inspire children because author Deborah Ann Hunt writes about Earnhardt’s “determination and drive” and the fact that he “always regretted dropping out of high school.” What I liked best about this book is the author didn’t shy away from writing about Earnhardt’s aggressive driving style. But she notes that fellow drivers respected him. There’s a lesson for everyone there, and in fact, this children’s book provides many good lessons for both children and adults. I recommend it.