Thursday, July 2, 2020

Becoming Muhammud Ali by James Patterson, Kwame Alexander, and Dawud Anyabwile - ESSENTIAL

Becoming Muhammud Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile, BIOGRAPHY 320 pages, jimmy patterson (Little, Brown and Company). 2020. $17

Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (Boxing)



Cassius Clay grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He had a bunch of great friends, including Lucky - who helps narrate this story.  Growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Cassius wasn't allowed to hang out wherever he wanted, couldn't go to the cool amusement park with his brother Rudy, or even look at a new bike outside a shop in town without getting chased away by the owner.  More than anything, though, Cassius wanted to box - on TV.  Patterson and Alexander tell a gripping story of perseverance  and focus, as they recount the childhood of world famous boxer Muhammad Ali.

James Patterson's prose - the perspective of Cassius' best friend Lucky, and Kwame Alexander's poetry as the voice of Clay is outstanding. Even kids with no prior knowledge of Muhammad Ali will be engaged and excited as they watch this young boy focus everything on his boxing.  The illustrations are incredible, black and white drawings by The Crossover graphic artist Dawud Anyabwile capture the 1950's perfectly.

Lisa Librarian

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