The Stone Thrower by Jael Earley Richardson Book Review

The Stone Thrower by Jael Earley Richardson
Illustrations by Matt James
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release Date: May 1, 2016

Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. The chances of him being able to play football beyond the schoolyard, were slim. Yet, with dedication and perseverance he earns a reputation as a great quarterback, with unbeaten records in high school and university. Using a football scholarship, Chuck is able to get an education.

An inspirational story by Chuck Ealey's daughter, this is the story of rising above circumstances and one young man's dedication in the face of many obstacles. I absolutely love picture book biographies (and biographies in general) because they give us stories of people who don't show up in the normal school curriculum. For an aspiring football player, the sports-obsessed kid, and the African-American child, Chuck Ealey can serve as an important role model, Matt James' illustrations were beautiful as always, with an almost Snowy Day vibe to them. The only criticism I have for the book is how much time is spent on Chuck's childhood and doesn't really get to his high school and college accomplishments. Those details are in a short paragraph at the end of the book. I would have liked a little bit of that in the actual book. Another great addition to the world of children's biographies.