Author David Laskin says of Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, “I really can’t rave enough about this book . . . dazzling . . . novelistic . . . cinematic. I read the last fifty pages with white knuckles, and the last twenty-five with tears in my eyes. History, sports, human interest, weather, suspense, design, physics, oppression and inspiration. . . . This is Chariots of Fire with oars.”
This longtime #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 2014 Nonfiction Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association chronicles the journey of the 1936 University of Washington men’s crew team, who beat their California rivals, defeated the Ivy League’s top oarsmen, and ultimately stunned the world and upstaged Hitler at the Berlin Olympics. Against the grim backdrop of the Great Depression, these nine boys— sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers—reaffirmed the American notion that merit, in the end, trumps birthright. This is a heartwarming story of one young man in particular. Abandoned by his family at an early age, Joe Rantz rows not just for glory, but to regain his shattered self-image, to regain his trust in others, and to find his way back to a place he can call home.
This is the ultimate underdog story that appeals to everyone. A young reader’s edition for ages 10 and older was released in fall 2015; this is a story that deserves sharing with the next generation.