Monday, March 03, 2008
Nonfiction Monday: Twelve Rounds to Glory
Smith, Jr. Charles R. 2007. Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali.
Twelve Rounds to Glory is an illustrated picture book biography of Muhammad Ali. Ali's story is told in verse. Charles R. Smith uses poetry to draw a compelling biographical sketch of this boxing legend. The book covers a long period of time--from his childhood to the present. The last chapter focuses on his struggle with Parkinson's syndrome. It is hard for me--a person with zero interest in boxing or sports in general really--to assess the appeal of Twelve Rounds to Glory. Biographical sports-related poetry. Easy sell? Hard sell? I can't say. It did, however, merit a Coretta Scott King Honor in the author category. It also was a 2008 Norman Sugarman Best Biography Honor Book. It was also nominated in the poetry category of the Cybils this past year. You may hear some of these poems on the author's website. The illustrations by Bryan Collier are wonderful. There really isn't another way to express it. They're beautiful and amazing. I loved them.
Charles R. Smith Jr. is the author of HOOP QUEENS and its companion, HOOP KINGS. He also wrote and illustrated the American Library Association Notable Book RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, among other titles. Charles R. Smith Jr. lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Bryan Collier is the illustrator of several award-winning books, including UPTOWN and the Coretta Scott King winners A FREEDOM RIVER, MARTIN'S BIG WORDS, and VISITING LANGSTON. MARTIN'S BIG WORDS was also named a Caldecott Honor Book. Bryan Collier lives in New York.