Monday, June 20, 2016

More Than Rivals

More Than Rivals  *****
by Ken Abraham

Overview: Two Christian boys grow up in the same town, just on opposite sides of the railroad tracks. One is black, and the other is white. They both love basketball and are very talented. This is their story of growing up in small town Tennessee during the Civil Rights Movement and how basketball brought them together and their town. 

Positive elements: very well-written and fast paced, characters make good decisions in the face of adversity, the power of love is displayed

Negative elements: some harsh racist dialog, a high school make-out session in a parked car, teens fighting and drinking, KKK burns a cross, references to violence

Conclusion: I originally got this book for my husband who played basketball in high school. However, I got pulled into the story as well. The story gave me a timeline of some of the major events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. You could really see what a volatile time it was. I read parts of this book aloud to my girls. The only part I didn't read aloud was the teenagers kissing and groping in the car. (The girlfriend is pushing for intimacy and the guy refuses saying it isn't right before marriage. Both the basketball players are really noble throughout the book.) The book also did a really good job of showing the hatred and violence of the time without being too graphic.

I would recommend this book to high schoolers and adults. A wonderful and gripping story of the power of kindness in the midst of so much fear and prejudice.  
 I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.