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Joe Louis: America's Fighter Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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Batman Character Encyclopedia
Batman Character Encyclopedia
From Robin to the Joker, this compact, informative collection is your guide into over 75 years of the Dark Knight's friends and foes. Hardcover

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. In Adler and Widener's latest picture-book biography, forceful text and pictures tell how Louis, the grandson of slaves, found his niche in what he termed a "no-place-to-go world." Both contributors play down the controversial aspects of a sport that many believe glorifies violence, focusing instead on an underprivileged child's achievements through unstinting effort and avoiding graphic depictions of punches and injuries. Dominating the narrative are Louis' historic matches with Germany's Max Schmeling, events that spurred Americans to form an unprecedented united front in support of a black champion. Widener paints in his trademark muscular oils, reminiscent of WPA murals. Although this style beautifully captures his subject's grim determination and imposing physique, it also somewhat disconcertingly reflects the era's biases in depicting blacks with slightly caricatured facial features. Bulleted author's notes and a brief summary of sources conclude. For more pugilism in picture books, see Tonya Bolden and R. Gregory Christie's wilder The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali (2004) or William Miller and Rodney S. Pate's fictional My Hero, Joe Louis (2004). Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Gulliver Books (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152164804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152164805
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write both fiction and non-fiction. I begin my fiction with the main character. The story comes later. Of course, since I'll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not have him or her be someone I like? Andy Russell is based, loosely, on a beloved member of my family. He's fun to write about and the boy who inspired the character is even more fun to know. Cam Jansen is based even more loosely on a classmate of mine in the first grade whom we all envied because we thought he had a photographic memory. Now, especially when my children remind me of some promise they said I made, I really envy Cam's amazing memory. I have really enjoyed writing about Cam Jansen and her many adventures. For my books of non-fiction I write about subjects I find fascinating. My first biography was Our Golda: The Life of Golda Meir. To research that book, I bought a 1905 set of encyclopedia. Those books told me what each of the places Golda Meir lived in were like when she lived there. I've written many other biographies, including books about Martin Luther King, Jr; George Washington; Abraham Lincoln; Helen Keller; Harriet Tubman; Anne Frank; and many others in my Picture Book Biography series. I've been a Yankee and a Lou Gehrig fan for decades so I wrote Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. It's more the story of his great courage than his baseball playing. Children face all sorts of challenges and it's my hope that some will be inspired by the courage of Lou Gehrig. I am working now on another book about a courageous man, Janusz Korczak. My book One Yellow Daffodil is fiction, too, but it's based on scores of interviews I did with Holocaust survivors for my books We Remember the Holocaust, Child of the Warsaw Ghetto, The Number on My Grandfather's Arm, and Hiding from the Nazis. The stories I heard were compelling. One Yellow Daffodil is both a look to the past and to the future, and expresses my belief in the great spirit and strength of our children. I love math and was a math teacher for many years, so it was fun for me to write several math books including Fraction Fun, Calculator Riddles, and Shape Up! Fun with Triangles and Other Polygons. In my office I have this sign, "Don't Think. Just Write!" and that's how I work. I try not to worry about each word, even each sentence or paragraph. For me stories evolve. Writing is a process. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times. And I work with my editors. I look forward to their suggestions, their help in the almost endless rewrite process. Well, it's time to get back to dreaming, and to writing, my dream of a job. David A. Adler is the author of more than 175 children's books, including the Young Cam Jansen series. He lives in Woodmere, New York.

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