Monday, May 8, 2017

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Strong Inside

Strong Inside
by Andrew Maraniss
Philomel (2017)

What It's All About:

Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation.

The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on.

Why You'll Love It:

  • Author Maraniss doesn’t shy away from the difficulties, not wanting to whitewash history by editing away the ugly epithets that plagued Wallace throughout his career.
  • The bibliography is packed with primary sources, offering ample research opportunities for those compelled to dig deeper into the civil rights struggle of Wallace and other black athletes.
  • Maraniss writes in a way that would draw in reluctant readers. His writing is smooth and vivid. The smoothness makes the book fly by, while the vividness make the encounters Wallace face that much more damning.

Who Should Read It:

Perfect for 7th grade and up.

What Else You Should Read:

  • Legends by Howard Bryant
  • On the Court with LeBron James by Matt Christopher
  • Hoop Dreams by Ben Joravsky

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

This sounds like an inspiring biography and one that would appeal to boys. Thanks for sharing it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...