Jim Thorpe: Original All-American

Jim Thorpe: Original All-AmericanJim Thorpe: Original All-American by Joseph Bruchac
Published by: Dial Books
Release Date: 6 June 2006
Pages: 288
Genres: Diversity, Non-fiction
Recommended For: Grades 6-10
Submitted by: Renata Sancken


Who do you guys think is the greatest athlete in the world?

[probably no one will guess Jim Thorpe]

How many of you guys have heard of Jim Thorpe?

OK, he might not be the greatest athlete in the world now, since he’s dead, but he was definitely great. He won 2 gold medals at the 1912 Olympics. And he was an All-American college football player. And a professional basketball player. And a professional baseball player. And he was the first president of the American Professional Football Association, which you guys might know better as the NFL.

In addition to being an All-American, Jim Thorpe was also a Native American, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe. He was sent to the cruel Indian boarding schools that were meant to separate Native American children from their parents so they would forget their traditions and learn white European customs. Jim hated the schools and frequently ran away from them, until he started playing football and other sports at the schools. Sports would eventually be his more permanent way out of the school.

This book is based on Jim Thorpe’s life, but it’s written in first person from Jim’s point of view, which makes it easier to get inside Jim’s head. There are a lot of ups and downs–Jim had a lot of successes, but also a lot of struggles. Jim Thorpe All-American is a great book for fans of sports or history.

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