Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball

Jen Bryant, illus. by Frank Morrison. Abrams, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4108-1
Bryant’s richly contextualized account of Elgin Baylor’s life, from his childhood in Washington, D.C., where the “nice parks” were “whites only,” to playing in the nascent NBA in a segregated U.S., shows how a star athlete used his influence to raise awareness and trigger change. Baylor’s astounding athletic talent and quiet character are presented in lyrical snapshots alongside key moments in the Civil Rights struggle, including “the courage of the first black students in Arkansas to sit down in an all-white classroom.” When Baylor sits out a 1959 NBA game to protest segregation, he joins activists who understand that “sometimes you have to sit down to stand up.” Morrison’s lengthened lines in his stylized oil-on-board illustrations sinuously depict Baylor’s gravity-defying grace. Includes author’s note and timeline. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/10/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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