Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Book Report: The Boys in the Boat

I didn’t really need another reason to like Andrew Luck.  He’s smart, talented, and a good sport.  Now that he has started a book club, I am a real fan.  I wrote about the book he chose for kids a couple of weeks ago.  His first selection for adults (although, depending on your kids, I can see them getting into it also) is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

What a great story.  A bunch of mostly poor kids from Washington overcome all kinds of struggle from dysfunctional families to financial disaster against the background of the Great Depression.  They learn to pull together and win gold in Hitler’s Berlin.

It would have been very easy for this to have been just a sports book.  The athletic achievement of the group has enough heft all by itself, what with guys jackhammering on the construction of Grand Coulee Dam in the summer to raise money for school in the fall and incidentally get even stronger and other similar tales.  What makes it more is that Brown has a sense of history.  He puts all the grit and brawn and inherent struggle to achieve in the context of the Dust Bowl on one hand and the Nazi rise to power on the other. 

Go read it.

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