Joe Louis, My Champion

By School Library Journal

In this stirring picture book, Joe Louis inspires a young African American boy named Sammy to reach for his dreams. It is 1937, and Louis is poised to be the heavyweight champion of the world. Sammy wants to be a boxer just like his hero, but to his utter frustration, he lacks the necessary physical prowess. After a pep talk from his friend, gentle words from his father, and careful introspection, the boy learns an important lesson. Though he may not be able to follow in the footsteps of Big Joe, he can strive to be the best at his own endeavors. Realistic oil paintings, many covering two pages, carry the story along. A glowing afterword highlights Louis’s career and exemplary character. This offering will have particular appeal to fans of the Brown Bomber, but its upbeat message is universal.