Last summer, my middle stepson was asked to read Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown before entering the 8th grade. While everyone talks about summer reading, I had momentarily forgotten about the required summer reading that used to eat up all my free time. I was immediately reminded me of all the books and essays I had to write before school started. Knowing it was a biography, and thinking I needed a break from some of the inspirational books we’ve been reading, I offered it up to Tiffany as an option for our book club. Here is what we thought! ~B
Overall Pop Rating (1 to 5 stars, more stars the better we thought it popped!)
B: 4.5. I couldn’t put this book down! I was thankful we decided to read this during the winter as it gave me a good excuse to hang out on the couch reading for hours on end. Daniel Brown is incredibly detailed with his account of the boys path to gold. The descriptions allowed you to be transported to the 1930s, as if you were experiencing this with them. And, it is such a wonderful story. I found myself rooting for the boys every step of the way (sometimes even out loud, which was very humorous to my husband).
T: 3. The story is fascinating and I was on the edge of my seat towards the end. That said, the author was a bit wordy for my taste and it was a slow start so I wouldn’t give it my highest rating.
What is one word that describes how you felt after reading Boys in the Boat?
B: Motivated. The author, Daniel Brown, focused the story on the effort, dedication and determination that each of these boys had that won them the ultimate prize – Olympic gold. It has motivated me to start making progress on some of my dreams because you never really know what you’re capable of until you try.
T: Content. It was such a great story and I liked that it had a good ending. The main character in particular had such a rough life so I was really happy to see things turn out ok in the end.
What is one thing that you will take away from Boys in the Boat?
B: Doing your craft each day will get you to where you want to go. There were many pages dedicated to the boys’ practice schedule – the weather they had to endure, the diet they were on, the fatigue they had to push through. It was inspiring. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of doing something, even 10 minutes, each day to get you closer to accomplishing your goal. This story is proof that it works!
T: You can overcome hard things. Each of the boys in the boat were overcoming their own challenges whether that be mentally, physically, or even financially and they all were able to pull together in perfect sync to win a gold medal at the Olympics. In comparison, my challenges look so small!
Anyone else read Boys in the Boat? We’d love to hear what you thought!
If you’d like to read along with us, the Pop and Banter May book is….. The Crossroads between Should and Must by Elle Luna. We heard Elle speak at Alt Summit back in January and, boy, were we impressed. We’re beyond excited to read this next! P.S. This is not one to get on your Kindle as it has beautiful, colorful illustrations!