Wheelchair Warrior: Gangs, Disability and Basketball

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

A former gang member who is now wheelchair-bound after being shot and paralyzed in a gang dispute, Juette, here joined by Berger (sociology, Univ. of Wisconsin, Whitewater), offers an informative ethnography on both gang life and wheelchair basketball. In the introduction, Berger describes how the handicapped have historically been victims of prejudice and discrimination and sometimes even relegated to "freak shows"; this perception changed only with the rise of the "medical model" of disability. Now, those wheelchair bound can still pursue and enjoy sporting activities, including wheelchair basketball. Juette describes how he was "recruited" into gang life on Chicago's Southside. His accounts of gang life alone would recommend his book as a worthy assigned text by those who teach courses on the sociology of deviance and gangs. Those who teach sport sociology courses would also find merit in the firsthand accounts of participation in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), which was founded in 1949. In short, this book has something to offer to both academics and lay readers. Recommended for academic and all public libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego

From the Publisher
"Juette’s story follows his evolution from boy to man, from gang member to wheelchair athlete, and it’s a story of determination and inspiration that will touch everyone who reads it."—Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592134748
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Melvin Juette is Community Service Coordinator of the Deferred Prosecution Unit of the Dane County District Attorney's Office in Madison, Wisconsin.

Ronald J. Berger is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Introduction   Ronald J. Berger     1
Roots     21
In the Company of Peers     34
Gangs     46
The Shooting     57
Road to Recovery     69
Breaking Away     82
A Motley Crew     92
Fundamentally Sound     109
Lost and Found     126
The Best of All Victories     136
Conclusion   Ronald J. Berger     150
Notes     161
Index     177
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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Recommended - For those who love to read about turning your life around!

    This memoir tells about a young teenage african male by the name of Melvin Juette who turned his life around thanks to his friends and family. Melvin, a grown man now tells about his past about being in a gang and how it affeceted his life when he was just 16. At that age Melvin been shot in a gang-related shooting and was paralyzed from the waist down. Melvin said it was "both the worst and best thing that happened" to him. While in a wheelchair, Melvin decided to not give into self pity or despair. So, he started playing wheelchair basketball. He was so good, he becamed a star athelete and played on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team. While being a star on the team, Melvin even got to meet the president Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton in 2000. Melvins successes made him a role model for kids, teens, and even adults who have disabilities and telling them, theres more to do then you think and you can always turn your life around. I recommend reading this very inspirational book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2008

    This book is amazing and a must buy!

    This is a book that from start to finish can not be put down. It is beautifully written and from a real perspective. Melvin does not hold back about his life in a gang and the transition he made in his life after he was paralyzed. He also does not take all the credit for where he is today, but gives it to the people that are apart of his life. This book shows how important mentors are in all of our lives and how important it is to give back to the next person coming up. It is an inspirational book for all adults, disabled or able-bodied.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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