Adapting Brown’s bestselling work of the same title (2013), Mone streamlines the true story of nine young men from the University of Washington who, against all odds, won the gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Olympics.
The Husky Clipper was “a graceful needle of cedar and spruce,” a racing shell manned by an eight-oar crew very different from their Ivy League counterparts. They were the sons of farmers, loggers, and fishermen, hardy young men fully up to the rigors of training, each committed “to being part of something larger and more powerful and more important than himself.” Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany, the inspiring tale of young Joe Rantz and his teammates is also about the many people who helped to make them heroes—the coaches, parents, fundraisers, girlfriends, and boat builders. Offering a model of masterful nonfiction writing, Brown expertly balances the leisurely pacing of the protagonists’ back stories with the exciting race scenes, related with concrete nouns, lively verbs, and short sentences, selected and adapted for this edition by Mone. Many photographs, an easy-to-read timeline, and notes on “The Art of Rowing,” complete with a diagram, add visual appeal.
A fine companion to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken (2014), also about the 1936 Olympics and also adapted for young readers. (Nonfiction. 10-14)