Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
Steve Sheinkin, Roaring Brook, January 2017
Sheinkin is among the best writers of non-fiction stories for readers from 4th and 5th grade up to around 8th grade. But most adults also like his work–I know I do!
This book is the story of America’s greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe. It is also the story of American football and its beginnings though the 1930s and the story of the Carlisle Indian School, underdogs who rose to the top of the football ladder. So in reality, the book tells three stories that should not be forgotten.
The writing is very engaging for the young reader, as are the old photos that illustrate the text. Sheinkin makes reading the past seem like reading the stories of today.
This is a good book for the student of history, the reader who like sports and anyone wanting to know more about the years following the Indian Wars and how America tried to “civilize” its indigenous peoples. It’s a story with many levels, including less-than-great actions begun with good intentions, but laced with many wrong racial assumptions, and also a story of victory of spirit. Without any hesitation, I recommend this book as a gift or for a personal read.
History represented as story is history not forgotten.