In 1936, America was years away from war with Nazi Germany. But long before the first battle of World War II, a starter's gun fired the first shot in our battle against the Nazis.
Adolf Hitler viewed the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a chance to show the superiority of the German "race" over the rest of the world. He never expected that an American, let alone a black American, would dash his dreams.
Jesse Owens grew up during an age when segregation laws forced him to eat at separate restaurants and stay at different hotels. But Jesse never let it slow him down while setting world records and winning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Once in Berlin, the triumph of Jesse's will helped him run through any barrier, winning not only Olympic gold, but countless fans.
About the Author
Carole Boston Weatherford's first act as an author was at six years old, when she dictated a poem to her mother. Today, she is an award-winning author of nineteen books of poetry, nonfiction, and children's literature, including Walker & Company's The Sound That Jazz Makes, winner of the Carter G. Woodsen Award. As a writer, she wants to make sure that kids are always free to pursue their dream, just like Jesse. She resides in High Point, North Carolina, with her husband, Ronald, and their children, Caresse and Jeffery. Visit her Web site at www.caroleweatherford.com.
Eric Velasquez hadn't used pastels in over twenty years when he illustrated this book. He believes the change from oil painting was inspired by the challenging, vital subject: "Something about Jesse Owens cried out for an immediate medium such as pastels." His illustrations for Walker & Company's The Piano Man won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Harsdale, New York, with his wife, Deborah.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Summary- Jesse Owens was working towards a gold metal at the olympics but he was also working towards much more. As an African American with incredible talent, he was showing the world that the color of your skin does not define who you are or what you can do. Strength: Organization Each page include a title of an event in Jesse Owen's life, several pictures of that particular event and words to describe the event. It is organized much like a timeline in a creative and sequential order. Use with Children- This would be a great book to read when studying human rights and/or Nazi Germany.
This book gave me chills when I read it! It traces the life of Jesse Owens as a sick child from a poor family to a world-renowned Olympic athlete. The main focus of the book is how Owens embarrassed Adolph Hitler by winning four gold medals in the Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Hitler was insulted that a black man would have the admiration of the world. The author does a wonderful job of making the book suspenseful. As I turned each page I could not wait to see what happened next. The illustrations are just as superb. They help tell the story as well. My only issue with the book is the part that mentions the concentration camps in Berlin. I understand why they are mentioned; however, were this section not in the book than it could easily be read to early elementary aged children, especially given the quality of the illustrations. I highly recommend the book for students from grades 3-6.