"An in-depth look at Ali's life through twelve rhyming poems. . . . Collier's bold pictures are among the best of his illustrious career."--BOOKLIST (starred review)
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Book for Young People
From the moment a fired-up teenager won 1960 Olympic gold to the day when a retired legend, hands shaking from Parkinson's, returned to raise the Olympic torch, the boxer known as "The Greatest" waged many a fight. Some were in the ring, against opponents like Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier; others were against societal prejudice and a war he refused to support because of his Islamic faith. The rap-inspired verse weaves and bobs and jabs, while bold collage artwork matches every move--capturing the "Louisville loudmouth with the great gift of rhyme" who shed the name Cassius Clay to take on the world as Muhammad Ali.
About the Author
Charles R. Smith Jr. says that while growing up in California, he read anything he could get his hands on. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own," he says. "The more I read, the more I wrote. And if I wasn't reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot." While working on his high school yearbook as a writer, Charles R. Smith Jr. was introduced to photography and immediately decided to make a career out of it. He graduated from photography school and headed to New York to pursue his dream. "I continued with my writing, and, with a heavy influence of rap music,
began writing more poetry instead of stories," he says. "Now, I have combined my photographic skills with my love of reading, writing, and sports to create an exciting career for myself!" Among the books the poet-photographer has written and illustrated is RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, which was selected as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book.
Bryan Collier is the author and illustrator of "Uptown", winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. He is also the illustrator of "Martin's Big Words "by Doreen Rappaport and "Rosa" by Nikki Giovanni, both of which are Caldecott Honor Books. The "Chicago Sun-Times" has called Collier's art "breathtakingly beautiful." Mr. Collier lives with his family in Harlem in New York City.