A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis

There is beauty about a story that brings together perseverance, finding one’s place in the world and fighting a battle for the country.   All this and sports too.  And it’s a true story.  I don’t know what it is about Joe Louis and boxing.  I don’t even like boxing, but I love, love this book.

The book frames the story with the fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, a German, in 1938. The tensions of Nazi Germany and Jim Crow America are thick, but black and white Americans stand together behind Joe Louis.  Joe Louis’s story of growing up, perseverance and sportsmanship leads him to this iconic fight.  Joe Louis, already a boxing hero, became a hero for the whole nation on this night.

It’s so well done, I can’t say enough about it.

Kadir Nelson slows down the images and gives each one such impact and beauty.  Lyrical prose by Matt de la Peña inspires and builds to the crescendo.  Pictures and words are perfectly matched.  This is what a picture book can do.


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at wendybooydegraaff.com or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Biography, Books with social studies links, Character-driven, Love that art, Love that prose, Nonfiction, Picture books, Voice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis

  1. myragarcesbacsal says:

    The cover looks promising indeed. Thank you for recommending this book. While we did plan on just doing an 8-day Black History Month special, we could still include this for our PoC (Persons of color) reading challenge until the end of the year. Will let you know as soon as the post is up. =)

  2. Pingback: If You Plant a Seed | An Education in Books Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.