Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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"A great American sport and Native American history come together in this true story of how Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner created the legendary Carlisle Indians football team"-- Provided by publisher.
Native American Jim Thorpe became a super athlete and Olympic gold medalist. Indomitable coach Pop Warner was a football mastermind. In 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, 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 in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work. Sheinkin provides an true underdog sports story-- and an unflinching look at the U.S. government's violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures.
Publisher: New York, New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781596439542
Characteristics: 280 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A master of fact-based text, Sheinkin has again created a smooth and interesting narrative that incorporates his thorough research. In this book, the reader discovers the history of football in the United States, the background of prejudice against Indian Tribes in America, and the heroic playin... Read More »

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IndyPL_ShellieR Apr 07, 2020

In Undefeated, Sheinkin has done more than I would have expected, even from him. He has a gift for making a nonfiction subject into a highly readable and engaging narrative that manages to entertain while it teaches so I was willing to give this book a try, despite the topic. I think this is probably the only book about a sport that I have ever read and, here's the kicker, I really enjoyed it!

IndyPL_SteveB Jan 03, 2019

Steve Sheinkin is a treasure among writers. He is a fine researcher who knows how to take history and write it with the energy of a novel. And he does it in a style aimed at young adults but enjoyable by adult readers. With Jim Thorpe, Sheinkin has a real challenge. How do you balance a biography of perhaps the greatest athlete of the 20th Century with the terrible treatment of Native Americans that ironically gave Thorpe his opportunity to be noticed? Thousands of children were forcibly removed from their parents and sent east to school’s like the Carlisle Indiana School, where they were shorn of their long hair, forced to speak only English, and often treated brutally, while being indoctrinated into “American” culture.

The football and track coach at Carlisle was Pop Warner (now considered one of the great innovators in the sport). With Warner’s help, Thorpe became the greatest football player in the country and the Carlisle Indian School played football against the top colleges, including Harvard, Yale, and the other Ivy League schools.

At the 1912 Olympics, Thorpe represented the United States in the two most grueling all-round events: the pentathlon and the decathlon. He won the gold medal in each, and then he returned home to great acclaim, more football, and ultimately a difficult life filled with prejudice and scandal.

Feb 24, 2018

This is an amazing historical account that does not pull any punches. We see Pop Warner and Jim Thorpe as they were and the historical events taking place around them. The game of football evolved from a slugfest into the game of finesse we see today in many respects due to the genius of Warner and the athletic talents of the Carlisle Indian athletes. They were smaller and lighter than their opponents, but achieved statistics that even the elite four could not touch. The account of the Carlisle vs Army(West Point) is especially interesting with Ike and Omar Bradley being a key players on the Army team.
I highly recommend Sheinkins' books. He sheds so much light on subjects that even adults may know only a few facts about(if any).

This nonfiction book explores the history of Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. I liked how the book presented both the legends and the flaws of all the people. Sheinkin does a great job making the story interesting and exploring the lives of these people. Enjoyable and well written if if you're not a football fan.


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