I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond

I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond

3.9 237
by Michael Oher

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The football star made famous in the hit film (and book) The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. Michael Oher shares his personal account of his story, in this inspirational New York Times bestseller.

Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks

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The football star made famous in the hit film (and book) The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. Michael Oher shares his personal account of his story, in this inspirational New York Times bestseller.

Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams. Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.

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Editorial Reviews

To say that the odds were stacked against Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher is a radical understatement: His mother was a crack addict and his biological father was murdered in prison when the future NFL star was in high school. One of thirteen children, Michael bumped around from school to school, from foster home to foster home, living a deprived, sometimes homeless life in the Memphis ghetto. Many people know the skeleton of Oher's story through Michael Lewis' book The Blind Side and the Sandra Bullock film that it inspired, but this is the first time that Oher himself has told his own story in his own words. I Beat the Odds is a real-life inner city Cinderella fable that possesses a poignancy that you could not make up. This February release trade paperback and NOOK Book contains a new introduction with updates since the hardcover release.

Lisa Echenthal

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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I Beat the Odds 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 241 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The autobiography I Beat The Odds by Michael Oher is an outgoing piece of a young boy growing up in the ghettos of Memphis. With his mom being a crack addict, Michael goes through many challenges like being homeless when his mom locks him and his twelve siblings out of the house while his mom is out doing crack. Over the years of bumming a place to sleep and food off people, he realizes he didn’t wanna live in the ghetto for the rest of his life; he wanted to escape the ghetto. He knew what he had to do, which was to get good grades in school and play sports. This took him to college on a full scholarship, and later he ended up in the NFL. One aspect I liked in the book is that he never took a break; he was constantly working to get out of the ‘hood and later achieved his goal. That showed me that if you are really focused on a goal you can beat the impossible, and just like Michael, you can beat the odds. 
MamaKCK More than 1 year ago
What a pleasure to read a story about someone working hard and having their dreams come true. It is such a relief when a time of excessive athletes here is one with their head on right. A great story for all.
orangecrush More than 1 year ago
This book i beat the odds could be very inspirational to young people living in harsh times. In the story Michael Orr shows courage and hardness as his parents are being taken away. His life was full of sorrow and the comeback he made was extrodinary. To have such a rough childhood and become one of the more dominating players in football really should make people set goals higher than normal. The one thing I really enjoyed about this book is the depth that Michael used in order for the reader to understand his life. This book is very detailed and easy to understand for ages 10 and up and is also approiate for ages 10 and up too. I would recomend this for people that are going through hard times. I say this because he went through so many adoptions and so many grahpic events that it was hard for him to forget. Also this is for kids who want to go far in life. Meaning that if you have a dream go for it and dont let anybody stop you. This book was never really dry. The plot kept flowing and never got to boring.That is what I thought about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first read the blind side a year ago, i loved it and after i saw the movie i loved it even more. I highly recomend it to anyone
Kent Eddy More than 1 year ago
He is my insipiration!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is refreshing! As a white woman who is much like LeeAnn I am glad others can see past skin color. Michael Oher wanted out of the ghetto. He aspired to have a normal life and obtained one. A must read for all kids who want better for themselves.
DawnsFolly More than 1 year ago
The movie was good and had to read the book too, but it left me wanting more. Here at last is Michael's story, in his own words, without the sugarcoating. OK, so it's not a literary work of genius, but I enjoyed it. A great book for young people, adults involved with young people and anyone curious about Micheal Oher's story. I'm buying several hard copies to gift the young men in my life to share that rare gift of hope. Hope for our childern and hope for adults who care. Gives me reminders of what I don't know or may have forgotten when dealing with youths & teens. Thanks Michael for sharing your story with us all! Read great on the Nook Color.
DarlCoSchoolCounselor More than 1 year ago
As a school counselor, I am always looking for ways to relate with at-risk students, and I think this book could go a long way toward reaching students from all walks of life. Michael Oher's description of generational poverty is very informative, and I think his book can be a wonderful guide for educators.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had seen the movie FIRST,so,I cheated a bit,but,this is a really good book for young people who think they have no future and/or have no one to care about them and are alone. Michael Oher shows you and tells you what it takes to be like him-courageous and determined to succeed,which he has done. Encouraging read for struggling people. Good read!
KEnglish More than 1 year ago
I normally do not read biography's and I could care less about football, but I'm so glad I decided to check this one out! Michael Oher is an inspirational young man and truly blessed. A must read for anyone young and old alike!
Connor Bezirdjian More than 1 year ago
this book taught me some valuable lessons
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a pleasure to read a story about someone working hard and having their dreams come true. He had mentioned to me how the book, "The 50 Laws of Control", has helped him gained wisdom about the manipulations that people use to hold hard working people back. Another MUST READ!!!
AKLS More than 1 year ago
I read this in one sitting, I literally could not put this book down. It answered a lot of questions I had after reading The Blind Side. In this book you really get a sense of where Michael Oher came from, who he is today, and where he's going. I recommend this book to everyone, all children and adults alike, not just fosters.
nice-bratgirl More than 1 year ago
This book was very helpful, I've just had my 1st foster children and it really helped me understand of why why why. Things really clicked for me in reading Michael's book and just make me want to help even more.
CKOUT More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, every child should read this. It gives hope no matter what the situation might be.
Katheen Augello More than 1 year ago
Michael Oher really had an inate desire to succeed and no matter how much help he had along the way, his drive and ambition to overcome the adversities of his childhood are the primary reasons for his success. What a special and loving young man! Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael Oher truly tackled all of his obstacles.   Oher is a neglected African American child who does not know where to call home and faces many major life struggles. In "I Beat the Odds," Oher finally shares his emotions about the rough journey he remarkably overcomes   Oher’s childhood experiences are not exactly typical. He is abandoned by his mother for hours at a time, he lives in a rough town where he witnesses a baby shot on the street by a single bullet, and when young, never stays in one school longer than a couple months.   While certainly most of Oher’s story from the popular award winning movie “The Blind Side,” is known, the book dives deeper into sentimental moment’s in Oher’s life. It allows him to finally explain some of the more unknown emotional, and key moments in his life. One chapter begins with an interesting analogy where Oher compares his dream to that of Martin Luther King, Jr. This comparison highlights how distraught he is and desperately needs change. The reader now knows the depths of Oher’s desperation.  The story takes the reader through a journey where they are able to finally understand how much he grows; mentally, academically and physically. Oher goes from a flunking student to earning academic honors. In the last chapter of “I Beat the Odds,” Oher shares letters from fans inspired by his journey.  He also provides methods for ordinary people to become involved in the lives of underprivileged children.  It is clear Oher is trying to promote a winning mindset and that he truly believes “you can do what you’ve set your mind on doing.” Overall, “I Beat the Odds” successfully shares Oher’s winning attitude, tremendous journey, and will definitely help many underprivileged children realize that if they put in the hard work they will beat the odds.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I have read sincme Harry Potter serise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book I Beat The Odds is an autobiography about the life of Michael Oher.  He talks about when he was a kid having to live with his drug-addicted mom until the  was put in foster homes. He really got detailed, explaining the struggle in his early  years. He does a great job going through the different stages of his life and how he  never stayed in one home for more than a couple weeks. He shows that even when  your dreams seem impossible, you can still achieve them by hard work and  dedication. The only thing that I disliked about the book was that some points in his  life that were not as important were explained a bit too much. I recommend this book  to anybody. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because of the message of inspiration it  sends.
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BookwormMomX3 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book for all! Yes, the language is simplistic, but that is understandable consider Oher is trying to reach out to young kids going through the same things he experienced as a child. It's a great book for all because of the message of hope it provides. Rather than falling into the same cycle of neglect, drug use, and crime that Oher saw all around him, he worked very hard to change his situation and make a better life for himself. He was lucky to receive a lot of support from both the wealthy and some not so wealthy adults along the way, but all in all, he made a better life for himself because he chose to do so. I wish this was required reading for all middle schoolers. Oher tells his story with tenderness and never fails to give credit to all who helped him along the way. Highly, highly recommend!