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Author: Charles, Norma
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Year Published: 2017
ISBN: 9780889955530
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grades 7 to 12

Runner: Harry Jerome, World’s Fastest Man

Reviewed by:

Harry Jerome is one of Canada’s forgotten heroes.
In Stanley Park, in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a statue, a tribute to the world’s fastest man, Harry Jerome.  Though Harry achieved world records in running, he is not well known in Canada. Beginning with Harry’s early childhood, through to adulthood, upper elementary, junior high and senior high students will appreciate learning about an African-Canadian sports hero. At age nine, Harry discovered that he had incredible perseverance when he helped his Manitoba community sandbag their homes again an impending flood and showed leadership of his family while his father was away at work for the Canadian Railroad.  This was just the start of many obstacles which challenged Harry and drove him to work towards his goal of being a professional athlete. Moving to Vancouver, he experienced racial prejudice, bullying, a first job, and a house fire, which helped Harry deal with obstacles in life. Harry discovered sports provided him with opportunities that were not always open to African-Canadians in the 1950s and 1960s. As his skill and accomplishments built, so did Harry’s challenges. As both an athlete and leader in track and field, Harry was instrumental in building sports and wellness programs in Canada for young people.  
This fictionalized biography is well researched using primary resources; family, coaches, and friends.  An author prelude and interview at the back of the book explains why the author chose to write a book about this little known Canadian sports hero.  
Highly recommended for sports fans, grades 4 to 12 and a resource for Canadian Identity.

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