Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Undefeated is another gem from award winning author, Steve Sheinkin. It is the compelling biography of Jim Thorpe, a famous Indian football player in the early 1900s and also the 1912 Olympic track star who was said to be ‘the best athlete on the planet.’ In a conversational style, master storyteller Sheinkin presents an extremely readable and well researched look at Thorp's complicated and stranger than fiction life. It highlights his time at the Carlisle Indian School and tells the story of his head coach, Pop Warner. How the game of football evolved during Thorp's active years is fascinating. This book is a MUST READ for lovers of exceptional biographies.

— Barbara Katz

Description


“Sheinkin has made a career of finding extraordinary stories in American history.” —The New York Times Book Review

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story—and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin, it’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.

Jim Thorpe: Super athlete, Olympic gold medalist, Native American
Pop Warner: Indomitable coach, football mastermind, Ivy League grad

Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.

A 2017 Horn Book–Boston Globe Nonfiction Honor Book
A Washington Post Best Book of 2017
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fiction Book of 2017
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2017
A 2017 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice
A New York City Public Library Notable Best Book for Teens
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
A 2018 ALSC Notable Children's Book
A National Council for the Social Studies Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
A 2018 VOYA Nonfiction Honor Book

This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.

About the Author


Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of fast-paced, cinematic nonfiction histories for young readers. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, was a National Book Award finalist and received the 2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, won both the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the YALSA award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, a National Book Award Finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War was a National Book Award finalist, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award winner, and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Nonfiction Award winner. Sheinkin lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Praise For…


“Sheinkin has made a career of finding extraordinary stories in American history, researching them exhaustively and recounting them at a nimble pace for readers aged 10 and up . . . Thorpe's greatness may be aspirational, but Sheinkin's brisk and forthright delivery makes it seem entirely possible.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Along with Thorpe's fascinating personal story, Sheinkin offers a thought-provoking narrative about the evolution of football and the development of boarding schools such as the Carlisle Indian School.” —The Washington Post

“Sheinkin has created a rich, complex narrative that balances the institutionalized bigotry and racism of the times with the human-interest stories that are often overshadowed by or lost to history . . . A thoroughly engrossing and extensively researched examination of football’s first 'all-American.' Highly recommended for U.S. history collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“A model of research and documentation as well as of stylish writing that tells an always absorbing story.” —Booklist, starred review

“A gifted storyteller who never forgets the story in history. He is unflinchingly honest in pointing out the racism in white American culture at large and in football culture . . . bringing the story directly to modern readers. Superb nonfiction that will entertain as it informs.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Brief, action-packed chapters evince Sheinkin’s consistently multilayered approach, as he
connects various subplots . . . and uses genuine cliffhangers for a propulsive reading experience.” —Horn Book, starred review

“With contagious excitement, Sheinkin enthralls . . . [and] compels readers to learn, admire and bear witness to the 'world's greatest athlete.'” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“A new work of nonfiction as riveting as any historical novel you are likely to read this year.” —Book Page

Most Dangerous:
“Easily the best study of the Vietnam War available for teen readers.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The Port Chicago 50:
“Sheinkin delivers another meticulously researched WWII story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Bomb:
“This is edge-of-the-seat material.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

The Notorious Benedict Arnold:
“American history is brought to life in this engaging story of revolution and treason.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781596439542
ISBN-10: 1596439548
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: January 17th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English