Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football TeamUndefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book in my box when I attended the AERA conference two years ago. Reading it embarrassed me, because I had never heard of Jim Thorpe, and everyone should have heard of Jim Thorpe. He was a one-of-a-kind athlete, a borderline demigod from a mythological world. Admittedly, I am not a sports fan really of any kind (I’m an indoor cat) but what I appreciated about this book was that it has many audiences who might want to read it.

As an educator, I this book would appeal to reluctant readers who happen to be football fans. Then, they would inadvertently learn about the cultural erasure of Native Americans around the turn of the century. Or, if you’re like me, the football came as a secondary interest, and the stories about the schools and what the children suffered were compelling and made me feel outraged.

This book has a great, clean layout, with great pictures and a look that will appeal to many readers of various interests and levels. Thinking about my readers who struggle, my only issue is that it does skip around in the timeline a bit, which is artistic and cool to confident readers and confusing to others. Also it really didn’t talk much about his later years, and I wanted to read about how a town allegedly offered to rename their town if the family agreed to bury Jim there.

All in all, a good read, and a must for your secondary classroom library.

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