Becoming Muhammad Ali: A New Middle Grade Novel About The Childhood of Boxing Legend Cassius Clay
Updated: Sep 26
Title: Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Recommended Grades: 3-7
From two heavy-hitters in children's literature comes a biographical novel of cultural icon Muhammad Ali. Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius' family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali. Fully authorized by and written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, and vividly brought to life by Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic artwork, Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
Disclaimer: we're currently reading Becoming Muhammad Ali, but so far, we're loving it. The words jump off the page, drawing the reader in with each page. I love that we get to see a side of Muhammad Ali that we usually don't see. The human side. He was such a larger than life person, it can be hard for us to relate to him, but this middle grade book shows that he faced many of the same obstacles we all face.
Know who you are, Cassius
And whose you are.
Know where you going
and where you from.
Much of Ali's life was shaped by Jim Crow Laws that ruled during his childhood. Despite the obstacles he faced, Ali was determined to make a life for himself. He believed in himself and he leaned on the support of family and friends. We haven't finished the book yet, but we're already inspired. We'll share our final thoughts over on our social media pages, so make sure you're following us.
Add Becoming Muhammad Ali to your to be read (TBR) list today. This book publishes October 5, 2020. Ordering is available now.
The publishers of Becoming Muhammad Ali have created an Educator's Guide for the book. Click the link below to download it for free. Visit the publisher's page (here) to read an excerpt of the book and find other valuables resources.
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