The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory
The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory
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Annotation: The inspirational story of a group of impoverished children who were transformed into champion swimmers. In 1937 an ordinary grammar school teacher on the island of Maui took a group of underprivileged children, mostly of Japanese ancestry, and in three short years transformed them into Olympic champions.
Catalog Number: #122381
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: viii, 415 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-455-52344-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-455-52344-3
Dewey: 797.2
LCCN: 2015947608
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
The sugar ditch kids were nobodies. Living on a Maui sugar plantation in the 1930s meant a life of poverty, with one of the only joys splashing in the waters that fed the fields. But Soichi Sakamoto, a teacher who volunteered to supervise the kids swimming in an irrigation ditch, saw opportunity glistening in the turbid water. His quest to build world-class swimmers from the youngsters whose futures seemed to already be set in stone makes an inspiring true tale of grit and determination. As the ragtag Maui team's ambitions unfold with the credo "Olympics first, Olympics always," so does Tokyo's bid for the 1940 games, but world events conspire against them both. Checkoway skillfully weaves vivid scenes into a larger narrative with a varied cast of characters to create a stirring, though exhaustive, account of the swimming club. The team's successes against an undercurrent of discrimination rst in Hawaii and then the mainland and internationally rned heads and saw not only the sugar ditch swimmers, but also the sport itself, experience an explosive leap forward. Pair this with The Boys in the Boat (2013).
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ALA Booklist (Thu Oct 01 00:00:00 CDT 2015)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 359-388) and index.
Reading Level: 9.0
Interest Level: 9+
Reading Counts!: reading level:12.9 / points:29.0 / quiz:Q68980
Lexile: 1260L

The New York Times bestselling inspirational story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.

In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.

They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American and were malnourished and barefoot. They had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water.

In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world. But they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory.

They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story.

*Includes Reading Group Guide*


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