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JIM THORPE by Joseph Bruchac


Original All-American

by Joseph Bruchac

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: July 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8037-3118-3
Publisher: Dial

Jim Thorpe was a modern American Indian hero. At Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Thorpe excelled in sports and later became known as the world’s greatest athlete. Taking money to play semi-pro baseball one summer in North Carolina led to trumped-up charges that he had become a professional, and he was stripped of the gold medals he had won in the 1912 Olympics. But newspapers came to his defense, and he remained a hero to many people. Following up on his picture book, Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path (2004), illustrated by S.D. Nelson, Bruchac has Thorpe tell the story in his own voice. The novel is a superb blend of fiction and nonfiction, rooted in the author’s usual careful research. Not just a sports-hero tale, this delves into such important issues as the line between amateur and professional sports, the effect of big-time money on sports, racism and the relationship of Native Americans to a dominant society. (Fiction. 10+)