An African-American football player is denied an American football career.
Born in a segregated town in Ohio in 1950, Chuck Ealey, African-American, grew up to be a great football quarterback in Canada. His childhood was one of poverty and hunger, but Chuck found a pastime—throwing rocks at passing freight trains. His aim became so good that the school coach named him quarterback, a position that did not please his white opponents. Ealey’s daughter, who previously wrote an adult biography of Ealey also called The Stone Thrower (2012), here pens an inspirational story about her father. Unfortunately, though the author does not shy away from the hardships of Ealey’s youth, it is only in her brief afterword that readers learn that American football teams did not want an African-American in the glamorous position of quarterback, often considered the team’s leadership spot. Ealey, despite stellar high school and college records, had to play in Canada. With sports biographies so focused on baseball players of color, it is a good thing to have a title about a football player, but it’s too bad the information about his career after college is not in the story itself. James’ pen, ink, and acrylic art on Masonite is richly saturated in color and captures each vignette in a lively fashion.
An inspiring though incomplete story of adversity and discrimination. (Picture book/biography. 6-8)