What a powerful story! Although the main topic, understandably, was basketball in this book, there was so much more to it than that. While the rest of the United States looked to integrate black and white, Gallatin wanted to hold on to old traditions. Separate schools, barber shops, diners, and even neighborhoods. On the surface it seemed as though it was okay with both sides, but under the surface that wasn’t always the case.
Enter young Eddie and Bill, two boys who loved playing basketball more then anything. I wish the world was able to view others as these boys did. They did not see skin color, only a little boy who loved to play basketball as much as them. The town could have learned a lot from these boys. I appreciated how their views seemed to stay the same throughout the story. While they may not have outwardly declared their opinions, they did not agree with those who spoke against a differing race.
The author did a nice job of depicting how life probably was in Gallatin during this time period. I could imagine the people acting just as he wrote the story, with their actions and their mouths. There were moments that I did not appreciate the language, (mainly what the different races called each other) however I understand the significance to the storyline. The storyline was presented so vividly to me that I felt as if I were living it with them. Any time there was a racial slur, I got upset. When one race stuck up for the other, I got emotional. When there was violence I shed a tear. I love feeling like I’m in the story, connecting to the characters as if they were real.
Not only do I recommend this book to basketball fans, but to anyone that needs a reminder that in Gods eyes we are all created equal. Let us remember to take a stand if we see someone being cruel to another. Let us be an example by showing love and kindness. Thank you Ken for writing Eddie and Bill’s story!
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review which I have given.
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About the book
By 1970, racial tension was at a breaking point in the southern town of Gallatin, Tennessee. Desegregation had emotions running high. The town was a powder keg ready to erupt. But it was also on the verge of something incredible.
Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon were boys growing up on opposite sides of the tracks who shared a passion for basketball. They knew the barriers that divided them–some physical landmarks and some hidden in the heart–but those barriers melted away when the boys were on the court. After years of playing wherever they could find a hoop, Eddie and Bill entered the rigors of their respective high school teams. And at the end of the 1970 season, all-white Gallatin High and all-black Union High faced each other in a once-in-a-lifetime championship game. What happened that night would challenge Eddie and Bill–and transform their town.
Readers will love this fast-paced true story of courage, determination, character, and forgiveness.