Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Best of 2016: 1936 Olympics




Recommended by Margaret B.,
library page






The Boys in the Boat,
by Daniel James Brown

In full disclosure, I started The Boys in Boat in audio format, but I was so entranced that I had to get the book.

It is a true story of fighting adversity to triumph against all odds, through the events and lives of real people who lived
in the Pacific Northwest during the 1920s and '30s.

In these days in which everyone with
“15 minutes of fame” writes a biography, The Boys in the Boat was a surprisingly emotional and inspirational narrative.
This book focuses on the coaches and
on Joe Rantz, one of the rowers, of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew, and their quest for an Olympic gold medal.

During the Great Depression, 15-year old Joe is literally abandoned by his family. He must struggle to survive and make something of his life while battling emotional issues. With no social services, Joe does not stop for self-pity but uses hard work and extreme determination to make his way to the University of Washington and a position on the crew team. That same hard work and determination builds respect and love toward each member in the eight-person boat. Also discussed are the coaches, Hitler, and Nazi Germany’s 1936 Olympics. I’m still amazed at how engrossing and impactful this story was. Highly recommended!


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