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BRIGHT PATH by Don Brown


Young Jim Thorpe

by Don Brown & illustrated by Don Brown

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59643-041-9
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Born Wa-tho-huck, or Bright Path, Jim Thorpe was later known as the World’s Greatest Athlete. He grew up on the plains of Oklahoma and was sent to Indian schools, where he would learn “to act and dress like white people.” Though he hated most of the schools and often ran away, it was at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School that Thorpe proved the athletic prowess that eventually took him to the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he won the pentathlon and the decathlon. With his signature watercolor-and-ink cartoony characters and dramatic storytelling, Brown offers a solid look at a hero in the making. The attractive volume works as far as it goes, ending with Thorpe’s heroism at the Olympics but not broaching—except in an extensive author’s note—the complications of a difficult later life when Thorpe was unfairly stripped of his medals. As with all of Brown’s fine volumes, this will appeal to young readers with a bent toward real-life heroes. (bibliographic note) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)