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A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttman Created the Paralympic Games

By: Lori Alexander

Illustrator: Allan Drummond

Dedicating his life to helping patients labeled "incurables," Ludwig Guttmann fought for the rights of paraplegics to live a full life. The young doctor believed—and eventually proved—that physical movement is key to healing, a discovery that led him to create the first Paralympic Games.

Told with moving text and lively illustrations, and featuring the life stories of athletes from the Paralympic Games Ludwig helped create, this story of the man who saved lives through sports will inspire readers of all backgrounds.

Time line. Notes. Selected bibliography. Index. Black-and-white and full-color photographs. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781328580795

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Religious, Illustrations/Images: Disturbing Imagery, Language: Mild Language
Topics: Ludwig Guttmann (1899–1980) , History of Paralympic Games , Neurologists , Great Britain , German Jews , Disability , Sporting events , Biography

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Ludwig Guttmann was a respected Jewish neurosurgeon in Germany when the Nazi party came to power. When Guttmann relocated with his family to England in 1939, he was denied the opportunity to practice as a surgeon and decided to devote his time to medical research. At that time, patients paralyzed from spinal injuries were deemed “incurables” an Ludwig Guttmann was a respected Jewish neurosurgeon in Germany when the Nazi party came to power. When Guttmann relocated with his family to England in 1939, he was denied the opportunity to practice as a surgeon and decided to devote his time to medical research. At that time, patients paralyzed from spinal injuries were deemed “incurables” and left to die in hospital beds. Guttmann did not accept this prognosis: he developed a revolutionary treatment plan that saw unprecedented success, and World War II created many patients who needed his services. He realized that sports could build strength, boost confidence, raise spirits, and develop camaraderie in his patients. What started as a wheelchair sports competition between two hospitals grew into the international Paralympic Games, played on the same schedule and set in the same host city as the Olympics. Alexander covers a lot of ground in this biography. Yet the narrative never feels bogged down by the scope and depth of content; the clear writing employs a simple, matter-of-fact tone. Drummond’s charming illustrations, stylistically reminiscent of Quentin Blake, help maintain an optimistic mood even during the darkest moments. Alexander does not reduce Guttmann’s patients to objects of pity, but the text frankly discusses the negative implications of infantilizing and condescending attitudes toward people with disabilities. Profiles of accomplished modern Paralympic athletes in the final chapter will help young readers realize the far-reaching impact of Guttmann’s work. ¬An uplifting biography that spotlights the dedicated physician who saved lives, created the Paralympic Games, and became a pioneer for disability rights.

Book Details

ISBN

9781328580795

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

10" x 7"

Page Count

128

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 960L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Religious, Illustrations/Images: Disturbing Imagery, Language: Mild Language

Topics

Ludwig Guttmann (1899–1980), History of Paralympic Games, Neurologists, Great Britain, German Jews, Disability, Sporting events, Biography,

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