Joe Louis: America's Fighter

Joe Louis: America's Fighter

by David A. Adler, Terry Widener
     
 

Joe Louis was a fighter, a world champion boxer, a "punching machine." But more important, Joe Louis was a hero. At the beginning of his fighting career, he was a hero and a symbol of hope to African Americans. Later, Joe Louis became a hero to all Americans, uniting blacks and white boxing fans in their hatred of the Nazis and their desire for him to beat

Overview


Joe Louis was a fighter, a world champion boxer, a "punching machine." But more important, Joe Louis was a hero. At the beginning of his fighting career, he was a hero and a symbol of hope to African Americans. Later, Joe Louis became a hero to all Americans, uniting blacks and white boxing fans in their hatred of the Nazis and their desire for him to beat the German fighter Max Schmeling.

With powerful text and luminous illustrations, the award-winning, picture-book team of David A. Adler and Terry Widener has brought to life the true story of one determined individual who overcame racism and poverty . . . and inspired a nation.

Includes a time line highlighting key events in the boxer's life.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
"Another perfect marriage of words and pictures from an award-winning team"
Children's Literature
Writer David Adler and illustrator Terry Widener collaborate for the third time in this title. Joe's early years of poverty teach him to fight for what he wants in life. When he discovers boxing at seventeen, he feels "power pumping through him" and he knows he has found his way. Louis goes on to become the "punching machine" called the "Brown Bomber" who cheers African Americans during the depression until his retirement in 1949, undefeated as a world champion. Emotions are well described and the book's setting well defined by both illustration and words, giving both a sense of era and the man. 2005, Harcourt, Ages 7 to 10.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-This creative team's collaboration packs a powerful punch. Born in Alabama in 1914, Joseph Louis Barrow, grandson of slaves, grew up in a small farmhouse with no electricity or running water. His father was sent to a state hospital for "the Colored Insane" when the boy was two. In 1926, his mother remarried, and the family moved to Detroit. When he wasn't working or attending class, Joe would box with his friends. After one visit to a gym to "see some real boxers," he was hooked; he went on to win almost every fight on the amateur circuit. In 1934, Louis turned pro. Though early fights against whites were racially charged, perceptions shifted in '36 when he fought Max Schmeling, who represented Nazi Germany. Devastated when he lost this pivotal match, Louis won the rematch in '38, becoming the new world champion and a hero for all Americans. The author's notes mention the racist jungle images in early press coverage and that Schmeling saved children from the Nazis and later became friends with Louis. The action-packed acrylics capture the setting and emotions-Widener's signature muscular figures are particularly apt here. Expressive faces reveal a mother's grief at the sight of her bloodied, battered son; the ring announcer's concern about public reaction to the 1935 mixed-race fight between Louis and Primo Carnera, and more. Pair this title with Tonya Bolden's The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali (Knopf, 2004) for a knockout unit on African-American sports heroes.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152164805
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.38(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author


DAVID A. ADLER and TERRY WIDENER are the award-winning, author-illustrator team that created America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, a Child Magazine Best Book of the Year; Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year; and The Babe & I, an ABA's Pick of the Lists. David A. Adler lives on Long Island, New York. Terry Widener lives in McKinney, Texas.

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