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Who Was Jesse Owens? by James Jr. Buckley
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Jesse Owens was an amazing athlete that overcame a lot of adversity. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he became the first American athlete to win four gold medals for track-and-field in a single Olympics. In the book you learn about his life and his journey to greatness.

I would use this book to help engage kids who are interested in athletics and also to discuss how through sports people can come together. ( )
  JustineTeeter | Apr 2, 2018 |
"Who was Jesse Owens" is a great chapter book for kids, but also contains history and events that adults could be interested in too. The whole book takes us through Jesse Owens' life of triumphs and pit falls of being an African American in the 1910s to the 1980s trying to make a name for himself in the track and field world. Within this book it details the racism that Owens had to go through between his schooling, the Olympics, and trying to find jobs after the Olympics. Buckley Jr. wrote this book in chronological order from before Owens was born with his parents being sharecroppers to his death in 1980 from lung cancer. Owens was a world breaking track and field athlete that paved the way for more African American athletes and this book details that really well. ( )
  CassieHurley | Feb 22, 2018 |
In my opinion, Who Was Jesse Owens by James Buckley Jr. was an excellent book because it has well-developed writing and helpful illustrations. The main message that the author wants the reader to take away is that Jesse Owens is one of many inspirational, African-American, historical figures in history.
I thought the book was well written. Instead of just having a list of facts to read, Buckley builds a story around the important parts of Owens’s life. In the book, there are quotes from Owens's family members and friends. Also, Buckley provides explanations and deeper analysis on topics or words that may be difficult for the reader to comprehend. For instance, in the book he talks about Owens’s life as a sharecropper. Instead of just assuming the reader knows what a sharecropper is, he instead explains what it is. He says “After Henry and Emma (Owen’s Parents) married, they lived and worked on a large farm in rural Oakville, Alabama. They did not own the farm. They were sharecroppers. That meant that they rented a small part of a larger farm from the owner. When the crops- mainly corn and cotton – were harvested, they received a share of the money from their sale”. I thought by giving more meaning and detail to the reader it helped make the book more understandable to children.
What I also liked about the book was the illustrations. I like that the illustrations are pencil drawn because them seem more jovial. I also like that the pictures help the reader better understand concepts discussed in the book. For instance, Buckley talks about the Great Migration. In the book, there is a map of the United States and on the map, there are arrows drawn reaching out to different parts of the country, to show where African Americans migrated. Also in the book, he talks about Jim Crowe Laws. To help the reader better understand, he drew a dilapidated water fountain next to a pristine water fountain to show the difference between the facilities that African Americans had access to compared to the one whites had access to. ( )
  rclark23 | Oct 24, 2017 |
Jesse Owens is well-known as a legendary track and field star who was a pioneer for black athletes, attending Ohio State University, going to the Olympics, and winning four gold medals. Much is made of Owens being a black man demonstrating his prowess in front of Hitler and the Nazis, but this book also points out that German fans cheered for him and a German athletes befriended him. There's also a unsettling moment when it appears that the US Olympic Team may have made Owens run a relay in place of a Jewish runner. Celebrated at home, Owens also received jeers from prejudiced whites and from more radical blacks who thought he should not have gone to Nazi Germany. Later in life, Owens criticizes the Civil Rights movement but later has a changed of heart. All in all this is a story of remarkable and complex man, and I appreciate that this children's biography worked through the many layers of nuance. ( )
  Othemts | Jul 25, 2016 |
I would use this book in a fourth or fifth grade class because of the length. This book would be good to use to teach about segregation, racism, and Jim crow laws. I would have students connect the way the African Americans were treated to the way the Jews were treated in Germany and surrounding countries by the Nazis.
  TaylorWebb | Apr 10, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0448483076, Paperback)

At the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics, track and field star Jesse Owens ran himself straight into international glory by winning four gold medals. But the life of Jesse Owens is much more than a sports story. Born in rural Alabama under the oppressive Jim Crow laws, Owens's family suffered many hardships. As a boy he worked several jobs like delivering groceries and working in a shoe repair shop to make ends meet. But Owens defied the odds to become a sensational student athlete, eventually running track for Ohio State. He was chosen to compete in the Summer Olympics in Nazi Germany where Adolf Hitler was promoting the idea of “Aryan superiority.”  Owens’s winning streak at the games humiliated Hitler and crushed the myth of racial supremacy once and for all.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:09:54 -0400)

Describes the life of the sharecroppers' son who became an Olympic legend and challenged Hitler's dream of Aryan superiority.

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