The MMS Blog

Summer Book Report: “The Boys in the Boat”

The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation) is a book about how a crew of nine college freshmen overcame their hardscrabble childhoods to win the greatest honor a rower can dream of: Olympic gold. One of the nine boys is Joe Rantz, who perhaps had the hardest childhood of them all. When he was four years old, his birth mother died and his father fled to Canada, leaving him with his Aunt Alma. At one point, he came down with pneumonia, before reuniting with his father’s new family for a few years. But even that didn’t last long: His stepmother, Thula LaFollette, forced Joe’s father to abandon him at 10. He lived by himself in a school building and then worked until he was accepted into college.

One theme of The Boys in the Boat is Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. In 1936, Joe Rantz and the University of Washington crew went to Berlin to compete in the Olympics. They didn’t know at the time but Hitler was driving out the Jews and starting to kill them. He was segregating Jews from the rest of the people and building concentration camps. Hitler was only hosting the Olympics to convince the rest of the world that Germany was a superior country. That’s where the University of Washington crew comes in. If they could beat the German rowing team in the Olympics, they could prove to Hitler that he could not beat everyone, and that Germans were not superior people.

I recommend The Boys in the Boat to you because it is entertaining and, at the same time, teaches you about history. It shows controversy and it shows that with hard work, you can achieve anything.

By India N.W.

Posted on September 18, 2018 in