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I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond Paperback – February 7, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"The real Michael Oher just might be the first person with more sparkle and good looks than his movie counterpart...the book offers a harrowing first-person account from a child's point of view of the Dickensian conditions many American kids endure." — USA Today

"With the release of his memoir...Oher finally takes ownership, filling the gaps in the familiar narrative and somehow managing to make his journey from the streets to stardom seem even more amazing and compelling...I Beat the Odds is thoughtful and heartfelt, a young man coming to grips with an amazing journey that required the distance of years and perspective to fully grasp." — The Washington Post

About the Author

Michael Oher is an American football offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. He played college football at the University of Mississippi for the Ole Miss Rebels. He is best known as the subject of Michael Lewis’s 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and the even more popular 2009 film The Blind Side, in which Michael is portrayed by Quinton Aaron.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Reprint edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592406386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592406388
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (274 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

209 of 214 people found the following review helpful By AdamSmythe on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First there was Michael Lewis's best-selling book, "The Blind Side." Then there was the popular movie of the same title, starring Sandra Bullock. Next there was Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy's book, "In a Heartbeat." (If you haven't read either of these two books or seen the movie, I wholeheartedly recommend them all--each has its own message.) Now, finally, Michael Oher has co-authored his own book about his remarkable story. Perhaps one of the first questions you might ask is whether there is a sufficiently different approach and message in Oher's book to make purchasing it worthwhile. In a word, my answer is yes. Oher's book is definitely not some short piece of fluff. It covers 21 chapters over about 250 pages, and while the book is fast-paced and easy to read, it addresses very important topics. According to Oher, he wrote this book primarily for two reasons: First, he wanted to separate fact from the fiction ("artistic choices") that Hollywood introduced into the movie. Second, and far more important, Oher wants to have a meaningful talk with the approximate 500,000 children in America whose lives have been turned over by the state to someone other than their parents. He knows that the odds in life are stacked against these children, and he wants to tell them how he beat the odds--hence the title of his book.

While this book is easy to read, it still packs a powerful punch. Perhaps the most touching chapter to me was the third one, entitled "The Day They Took Me Away," which describes what happened when Child Protective Services came to take him from his mother. This about that situation for a moment.
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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read the Blind Side and the Tuohy's book and I agree with the first reviewer that Oher's book does add quite a bit of information not in the other books. Aside from details on his childhood, you get a sense of the kind of person the author is from his reactions to the people around him and his circumstances. My impression of the author is that he is a man with unusual maturity, compassion and kindness towards others all the more remarkable given the lack of nurturing he received early in life. He also comes across as funny and intelligent. The book definitely gives the reader a better idea of what Michael Oher is really like and I was surprised to see how insightful he seemed to be, not because I thought he was stupid, but because he is so young and yet expresses a maturity beyond his years. An inspirational book for teenagers or anyone else.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on February 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just started reading this book yesterday and Michael Oher did a wonderful job telling his story! It tells a story of what a child feels like when bounced around between foster homes while trying to keep their family together and all of the emotions that come with it. I think it took a lot of courage for him to go back to the different places he had lived and finally come to terms with the different events in his childhood. I have worked with kids in the foster care system and have seen first hand how they will try to "forget" different events in their lives. I can't imagine being in that situation and then having to relive it all over again. I like this book a lot more then the other two. I think it's more personal and could give hope to a child in the same situation that Michael was in. I am so happy he made it out of the bad neighborhood he grew up in and has done something great with his life!

Job well done Michael!
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Oher, the star offensive tackle of the NFL Baltimore Ravens and an All-American at the University of Mississippi... was made even more famous by being the subject of an Academy Award winning film *THE BLIND SIDE*. And it is this celluloid presentation to the world that seems to be one of the two main motivator's for this heartfelt book. The biggest reason of course, is Michael's burning desire to try and educate the world about what it is really like to be homeless... without a Father figure... what it is really like in the foster care system... what it is really like to have a drug addict Mother who would disappear for days... weeks... and months on end. What it's like to not only be devoid of a Mother... but to have your brothers and sisters taken away from you also.

Michael also wants the world to know that a human being... and regardless of race... social status... or location... or non-location... of your home... that's what we all are. And Michael not only doesn't want you to forget that... he wants the world to know that even when a human being is at the bottom and homeless... and without a family member that ever said I love you... that special individuals can still have goals and dreams... **AND MORE IMPORTANTLY** the drive to do what it takes to reach those seemingly reach-less goals. Michael hopes to influence the seemingly down and out not to quit... and he wants to influence the more fortunate to look at every single person as a human being who with a little love and assistance can become a person of substance.

Michael wound up having twelve brothers and sisters from so many different Fathers he couldn't keep track of them. While he tries to emit love for his Mother the bottom line is explicit when he says: "BUT SHE SEEMED TO LOVE THE CRACK PIPE EVEN MORE.
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