The New York Times bestselling inspirational story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers. In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians. They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American and were malnourished and barefoot. They had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water. In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world. But they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory. They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story. *Includes Reading Group Guide*
Click the Download button to download a copy of the MARC file.
Enter your FTP details below to send the MARC export file via FTP.
by Julie Klassen
by Julie Dobrow
by Julie Paschkis
by Julie Jason
by Julie Garwood
by Julie Cannon
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
by Julie Jansen
"Narrator Alex Chadwick's lightly dramatic voice keeps listeners focused on a fascinating story. Soichi Sakamoto's Three-Year Swim Club in Maui hoped for glory in the 1940 Tokyo Olympics, a goal thwarted by WWII. Julie Checkoway dives into the past for accounts of swimming records, training innovations, and the swimmers themselves. These branches flow into a larger story of growing global tensions, Olympics history, and Japanese-Americans in Hawaii. It's occasionally poignant, as when a club member encounters a German P.O.W. he once met in competition. When the account turns to swim meets, Chadwick's voice sounds wonderfully like vintage radio coverage. There's athletic triumph, but the war's toll on those hopes hits home. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
Sign up for our email newsletter