Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - ESSENTIAL

Brown, Daniel James The Boys in the Boat; The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics, adapted for young readers by Gregory Mone, NON FICTION 227 pgs. Penguin Random House, 2015. $17.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 F); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.  

A narrative account of the University of Washington’s eight man rowing crew that earned the position of the United States entry into the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, told through the story of Joe Rantz, a teenager, on his own since he was 15 who worked very hard for everything he had. Cast out of his family at 10, and completely abandoned by them at 15, Joe worked odd jobs to earn his way, finishing high school and earning college money over the summer in order to be part of the rowing crew.

This inspiring story of hard work and dedication is a quick read, alternating between Joe’s personal story and his experience training and racing with the crew at Washington University.  The descriptions of the races are marvelous and the play by play in Berlin, including Hitler and the crowd shouting Sieg Heil, were so vivid I felt like I was actually watching the race.  This is a great recommendation for both the sports lover and the historical fiction connoisseur.   

EL, MS, HS - ESSENTIAL  Lisa Librarian

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