SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS by Paula Yoo
Kirkus Star

SIXTEEN YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDS

The Sammy Lee Story
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Handsomely illustrated and compassionately written without sentimentality, this picture book biography exemplifies what this genre should be: humanizing and meaningful. In 1932, 12-year-old Sammy Lee could only swim in the public pool on Wednesdays, the only day open to people of color, and Sammy was Korean American. Torn between his dream of diving and his father’s urging him to become a doctor, Sammy managed to achieve both, despite barriers and prejudice, and was the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Scratchboard-style, sepia-toned paintings in wax-covered acrylics create a textured effect both visually and contextually. The title refers to the 16 years he trained for the 16 seconds it took to perform his winning dive. This hero’s inspirational story demonstrates determination and dedication by a man who never gave up and is still an active athlete today at the age of 84. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58430-247-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2005




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