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Non-Fiction: Biography, Football, NA History, racism and discrimination, sports
Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in the history of America’s favorite sport.
Title: Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle
Indian School Football Team
By: Steve Shrinkin
Book Group Leader: Don Singer
Ms. Smith’s Review: LOVED learning about this under reported and valued sports figure. Voted as THE Sports person of the 20th Century, the book blends both amazing pictures and text that is a page turner. A must read if you love all things sports. Football, Baseball, Olympic hero…..
Awards/Honors: A 2017 Horn Book-Boston Globe Nonfiction Honor Book, A Washington Post Best Book of 2017, A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2017, A Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fiction Book of 2017, A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2017, A New York City Public Library Notable Best Book for Teens, A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017, A 2018 ALSC Notable Children's Book, A National Council for the Social Studies Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People.
Gr 6 Up-Proclaimed "the greatest all-around athlete in the world" by legendary football coach Glenn "Pop" Warner, Jim Thorpe dominated sports in the early 1900s. His natural athleticism, in tandem with Warner's innovative coaching style, helped establish the Carlisle Indian Industrial School's football program as one of the nation's best, eclipsing perennial gridiron powerhouses Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Despite the fame and attention Carlisle received because of its winning team, a stark reality existed: the cultures of these same young men were being systematically eradicated by the school (e.g., prohibiting students from speaking Native languages, forcing them to cut their hair). Operating under the premise that the "Indian problem" could be solved by stripping students of their cultural identities, Carlisle founder and superintendent Richard Henry Pratt, a U.S. Army captain, vowed to "Kill the Indian; Save the Man" through any means necessary. Sheinkin has created a rich, complex narrative that balances the institutionalized bigotry and racism of the times with the human-interest stories that are often overshadowed by or lost to history. Within this framework, he brings to life the complicated, sometimes contentious relationship between a coach and a star athlete, their rise to glory, and the legacies they left behind. VERDICT A thoroughly engrossing and extensively researched examination of football's first "all-American." Highly recommended for U.S. history collections.-Audrey Sumser, Kent State University at Tuscarawas, New Philadelphia, OH © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
Other Non-Fiction Books by Steve Sheinkin include: Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of Vietnam, and The Port Charles 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight For Civil Rights.