Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City
Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City
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Annotation: Traces the inspirational story of the Crispus Attucks High School Tigers basketball team and how they broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indiana to become state champions.
Catalog Number: #168948
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 212 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-374-30612-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-30612-0
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2018002809
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Short tanka poems sympathetically tell of Japanese girl Sakura's love for Obaachan (grandmother) and for the cherry trees that shade their picnics. When Sakura moves to San Francisco because of her dad's job, both are sad. After Obaachan dies, a new friend finds a way to reconnect Sakura with her beloved home and grandmother. Digital illustrations recall Japanese woodblock prints. Includes a note on tanka.
Kirkus Reviews
Acclaimed author Hoose (The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, 2015, etc.) returns to his home state with the true story of the all-black high school basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indianapolis, anchored by one of the greatest players of all time.Recently honored with the NBA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Oscar Robertson is known for his accomplishments both as an athlete and advocate for NBA players. However, few know the story of how the Naptown basketball savant was able to lead his segregated high school to back-to-back state championships. Hoose does a brilliant job of portraying the surrounding historical context, exploring the migration of black families from the South to Indiana, showing how Jim Crow practices were just as present in the North as in the South, and describing the deep groundswell of support for basketball in Indiana. The inspiration for the book was the Big O himself, who told Hoose that the Ku Klux Klan "did something they couldn't foresee by making Attucks an all-black school. The city of Indianapolis integrated because we were winning." Could basketball have served as a pathway to racial progress within the Hoosier state? Attucks! doesn't pretend that we've outlived the racism of the American past, all the while showing readers how being grounded in one's self-worth and committed to the pursuit of excellence can have a lasting impact on a community.A powerful, awe-inspiring basketball-driven history. (biographies, sources, notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
In this rousing history of Indiana high school state basketball championships in the 1950s, Hoose (The Boys Who Challenged Hitler) explores the racism prevalent in the state and the black players who triumphed over it. Hoose chronicles the 25 years between the opening of all-black Crispus Attucks High School in 1927 and its first opportunity to play in the finals of the state tournament, laying bare the ugly forces the players had to overcome: the Ku Klux Klan, the poverty that made owning a basketball a pipe dream for most black kids, inadequate school facilities, biased referees, condescending civic authorities who cheated the state champions out of the parade a white team would have enjoyed, and more. Hoose balances this exposé of basketball-s racist history with thrilling game accounts, character insight, and great sympathy. Oscar Robertson may be the best-known player from this era, but Crispus Attucks-s basketball coach, Ray Crowe, who molded the teams, becomes the real hero in this masterfully told story. Archival material and sources are included. Ages 12-18. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up At one time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stated that NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson was "the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball." In this well-researched and skillfully written account, Hoose discusses the high school career of Robertson and how his all-black high school overcame tremendous odds in winning the state championship in 1955 and 1956. These wins were historic because it was the first all-black school in the country to win a statewide basketball championshipand it was the first time a team from Indianapolis had ever won. With sharp insight and an engaging writing style, the author relates how high school basketball engulfed the way of life in different Indiana communities and was instrumental in dismantling parts of segregation. Numerous black-and-white photos and newspaper articles supplement this exceedingly engaging work. VERDICT A great purchase for YA nonfiction collections. Jeanette Lambert, formerly at Nashville-Davidson County Schools, TN
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Acclaimed author Hoose (The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, 2015, etc.) returns to his home state with the true story of the all-black high school basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indianapolis, anchored by one of the greatest players of all time.Recently honored with the NBA's Lifetime Achievement Award, Oscar Robertson is known for his accomplishments both as an athlete and advocate for NBA players. However, few know the story of how the Naptown basketball savant was able to lead his segregated high school to back-to-back state championships. Hoose does a brilliant job of portraying the surrounding historical context, exploring the migration of black families from the South to Indiana, showing how Jim Crow practices were just as present in the North as in the South, and describing the deep groundswell of support for basketball in Indiana. The inspiration for the book was the Big O himself, who told Hoose that the Ku Klux Klan "did something they couldn't foresee by making Attucks an all-black school. The city of Indianapolis integrated because we were winning." Could basketball have served as a pathway to racial progress within the Hoosier state? Attucks! doesn't pretend that we've outlived the racism of the American past, all the while showing readers how being grounded in one's self-worth and committed to the pursuit of excellence can have a lasting impact on a community.A powerful, awe-inspiring basketball-driven history. (biographies, sources, notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Anyone who's seen Hoosiers has an idea how crazy Indianans are about basketball. What it doesn't hint at, though, is the story Newbery Honor Book author Hoose tells at not only was Indiana, and its capital, Indianapolis, nuts about b-ball, but that the success of a black high school, built in the 1920s at the instigation of the Ku Klux Klan, would through its hardwood success drive integration in the 1950s in a place known as "the South of the North." Crispus Attucks High School didn't even have an adequate gym, nor were they initially allowed to play other public schools, but in the early 1950s, things slowly began to change. The 1954 55 team won the state championship, finally overcoming bad officiating and gaining the respect of the still largely segregated city. As Hoose puts it, "Attucks varsity were becoming activists for racial justice by excelling at something that was dearly prized by whites." The story of triumph covers personalities as well as history: Oscar Robertson, the NBA basketball great, was the centerpiece of a team led by Ray Crowe, a remarkable coach. Their backgrounds and what drove them are woven into the exciting descriptions of games. Excessively readable, this should appeal to sports fans and those looking for a good book about the civil rights era. Exemplary notes and sources will push readers ults included learn even more.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages [187]-205) and index.
Word Count: 37,696
Reading Level: 7.5
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.5 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 199547 / grade: Middle Grades+
Lexile: 1110L

A rousing rags-to-riches episode, a tale of youth power, and a scarcely told chapter in African-American history, Attucks! charts the rise of the legendary Crispus Attucks High School Tigers in the 1950s. By winning the Indiana state high school basketball boys' championship in 1955, ten teens from a school meant to be the centerpiece of racially segregated education in Indiana shattered the myth of their own inferiority. Their brilliant coach had fashioned an unbeatable team from a group of boys born in the South and raised in poverty, anchored by the astonishing player Oscar "The Big O" Robertson. The Crispus Attucks Tigers went down in history as the first state champions from the city of Indianapolis and the first all-black team in U.S. history to win a racially open championship tournament.


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