Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football Hardcover – September 4, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From Publishers Weekly
Dent, who told the story of Bear Bryant's brutal preseason training of the 1954 Aggies in The Junction Boys, turns to the incredible story of Rusty Russell and his undersized team of orphans who dominated the gridiron of Texas high school football for the better part of the 1930s. True underdogs, most boys from the Masonic Home never held a real football; they used two socks stuffed together as footballs and, when Russell first took over, used Clabber Girl baking cans during practice. But the lean, scrappy Mighty Mites—as they were later dubbed—achieved an 8-2 record their first season of play in Class B. A few years later, in 1932, they moved up to Class A, the big leagues of high school football at the time. There, the Mites would face teams that outweighed them by as much as 50 pounds per man and fielded 47 players to their 12, and the orphans would win. Dent's strength is his play-by-play accounts of key games, but descriptions of personal interactions are often forced and lifeless. Also, many characters and events that are introduced at length don't factor significantly into the larger story line. Dent does more to mythologize the team and its players than to give them flesh and blood. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Masonic Home, an orphanage outside Fort Worth, became a high-school football dynasty in Depression-era Texas. Despite having virtually no equipment or uniforms, and despite their linemen often being outweighed by 50 pounds, the Mighty Mites, as they came to be known, reached the Texas state semifinals three times and the championship game once. Dent, author of The Junction Boys (1999), another inspirational story of Texas football, produces a riveting narrative from the saga of the Mites and their innovative coach, Rusty Russell, who compensated for his team's physical shortcomings with imaginative formations and trick plays. Using extensive first-person research and, when that wasn't possible, interviews with the immediate descendants of the principals, Dent builds a sense of drama and immediacy by placing readers in the heart of the Depression and a Texas that still had a bit of the Wild West in it. This is Seabiscuit for football fans, sure to attract narrative nonfiction fans who like to mix sports, inspiration, and popular history. Lukowsky, Wes
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Should you have reluctant readers age 12+ in your family who also happen to be sports fans, this tale will hook them in chapter 1 - guaranteed! Both my nephew and my uncle rediscovered the pleasures of a great book in the "off season."
Dent recalls how some of the boys became orphaned, paints pictures of the orphans' day-to-day lives at the Home, and recounts some of the hijinks and romances that the boys got into. He relates what happened to many of the players after they left the orphanage. This book is about much more than football, and the story is so inspiring that those who are not even fans of any sport would still find this book very worthwhile reading.
I will not spoil any of the details, but if you enjoy an emotional story and love football you will love this book.