Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became the Strongest Man on Earth
Little Friedrich Müller was a puny weakling who longed to be athletic and strong like the ancient Roman gladiators. Inspired by his own experiences body-building, Don Tate tells the story of how Eugen Sandow changed the way people think about strength and exercise. Afterword. Exercise suggestions. Author’s note. Bibliography. Quotation sources. Photographs. Full-color illustrations, created digitally.
JLG Release: Sep 2017
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Book List, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly
The life of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian-era bodybuilding superstar dubbed “the Modern Hercules,” is rife with mystery. Not only did his family destroy his belongings after his death, but articles and books on Sandow are often contradictory. Tate (a former bodybuilder himself ) reconciles thes [STARRED REVIEW]
The life of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian-era bodybuilding superstar dubbed “the Modern Hercules,” is rife with mystery. Not only did his family destroy his belongings after his death, but articles and books on Sandow are often contradictory. Tate (a former bodybuilder himself ) reconciles these challenges by telling the story as “Sandow would have wanted it told”—with drama and flair. This decision could have easily resulted in an over-the-top portrayal of the subject; instead, Tate’s chronological narrative portrays an ambitious, hardworking showman with a drive for excellence—from “feeble” boy to acrobat, strongman, fitness guru, and creator of the first organized bodybuilding contest. And although admiring of Sandow’s impressive physique and strength, Tate is skeptical of the man’s purported antics (such as defeating a lion). Tate argues that Sandow was more than just a strongman; that his attention to both mind and body inspired the people of his time—and can inspire people today—to devote “more attention to their own health.” The digital illustrations—rendered in a gentle, textured black outline housing a warm color palette—show an approachable version of the athlete. Additionally, decorative caption boxes and some stylized lettering (seen on marquees and banners) help develop a period feel. Back matter includes an afterword, exercise techniques, a bibliography, an author’s note, and quotation sources. A powerful pairing with Meghan McCarthy’s Strong Man (rev. 9/07) and Nicolas Debon’s The Strongest Man in the World (rev. 5/07). patrick gall
10" x 10"
Level 4.6; Points: 0.5;
Scholastic Reading Counts
Level 4.5; Points: 3;