Friday, June 3, 2016
Boys in the Boat
Lexile = 1000
Boys in the Boat in our library is actually the "young readers edition". I have read both it and the "old readers edition".... (no, they don't call it that!) I picked it up at the suggestion of a close friend. As I was reading, I heard from other friends quite a bit of hype about this sports drama from the early 1930's. NOw that I look back, I recall that much of the hype and enthusiasm for this book came from .... well.... "older" readers. I LOVE historical tales, but this one moved too slowly for me.
The central character in this true story is Joe Rantz, a boy who came from nowhere and nothing to compete on the rowing team at the University of Washington. Rowing is a sport of eastern elites; teams from Harvard, Cornell, and Yale usually dominate. Boys in the Boat meticulously recounts the creation and training of the team that would eventually surprise the rowing elite and compete for gold in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
The original book was too slow for me. I wanted to get to the rowing part and the "up by his bootstraps" tale of Joe took too long for me. On the other hand, they young readers edition moved a bit too fast. Sorry. I guess that means I am an in-between reader! I wanted to read about Joe and his difficult family life, but I wanted to get to the sport as well. I ended up going outside the text to find out more about rowing:
If you enjoy sports books, this is for you. If you enjoy historical memoirs, you will like this one.