Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ALI: An America Champion by Barry Denenberg: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Through the creative use of news documents boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, comes to life. Ali's "trash talk" and controversial mix of politics, religion and race along with his sports prowess created a media frenzy wherever he went. Denenberg's fictional use of newspaper and magazine articles, "man on the street" interviews, "breaking news" transcripts, and letters to the editor to tell the true story of the famous boxer and fits with the "larger than life" icon the media helped create during the 1960's and 70's.

Denenberg doesn't shy away from some of the unflattering events in Ali's life that came to define the legendary boxer. From his refusal to enter the draft for the Vietnam War to his relationships with Elijah Muhammed and Malcolm X, the author shows in fictional narratives the true life mixed reactions of both the black and white communities during the Civil Rights Era.

The layout of the news stories with the black and white photos of Muhammed Ali will capture the attention of even the most hesitant reader. Muhammed Ali says it best when he proclaims, "I know where I'm going and I know the truth and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want." A solid biography in a unique format will resonate with those who want to stay true to themselves even when it is unpopular with those around them.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers  (Sept. 23, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1-4814-0141-8
Pages: 96
Ages 10-14

This book can be purchased at the following retailers:

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FTC Disclosure: Book was provided by publisher at no charge to aid in review. No monetary compensation was received.


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