"Sheinkin has made a career of finding extraordinary stories in American history." -- The New York Times Book Review
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story--and more.Read more...
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"Sheinkin has made a career of finding extraordinary stories in American history." --The New York Times Book Review
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story--and more. It's an unflinching look at the U.S. government's violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin, it's the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.
Jim Thorpe: Super athlete, Olympic gold medalist, Native American
Pop Warner: Indomitable coach, football mastermind, Ivy League grad
Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.
A 2017 Horn Book-Boston Globe Nonfiction Honor Book
A Washington Post Best Book of 2017
A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fiction Book of 2017
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2017
A New York City Public Library Notable Best Book for Teens
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
A 2018 ALSC Notable Children's Book
A National Council for the Social Studies Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
- ISBN-13: 9781596439542
- ISBN-10: 1596439548
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 288
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Biography & Autobiography - Sports & Recreation
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - Native American
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > History - United States - 20th Century
The first great football team
Three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin’s Undefeated charts the rise of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and All-American fullback for the Carlisle Indians, one of the most innovative football teams ever to take the field. Despite its focus, readers need not be sports fans to enjoy this book.
As a Native American man born in 1888, racism was a constant in Thorpe’s life, but it’s because of this daily prejudice that Thorpe first set foot on a football field. At the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a boarding school that was created to “kill the Indian, and save the man,” Thorpe encountered the game that he and his Carlisle teammates would come to redefine.
In those days, football was a hybrid of rugby and bare-knuckle boxing. Guided by Coach Pop Warner—inventor of the reverse, the single wing and a multitude of other plays and formations—Carlisle did more than any team to move football away from its brutal origins. Warner ran a “whirlwind offense” that pitted the Carlisle players’ speed and agility against the bone-crushing brawn of America’s sporting elites: Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale.
Along with redefining how the game was played, Carlisle’s emergence as a football powerhouse forced the nation to face what was then an uncomfortable and controversial truth: Given a level playing field, Native Americans could compete with anyone—America’s most privileged sons included.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Steve Sheinkin about Undefeated.