cover image Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born

Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born

Gene Barretta, illus. by Frank Morrison. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-243016-8

Barretta (Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare) looks at how Muhammad Ali’s boxing career got its start: after the young Cassius Clay’s bike was stolen, a Louisville police officer encouraged him to spend time at a local boxing gym. Working in acrylic, Morrison (The Quickest Kid in Clarksville) creates visceral, dynamic action shots, whether it’s a young Cassius racing down a rainy street on his bicycle or an opening fight sequence that shows him besting Sonny Liston, George Foreman, and Leon Spinks to claim the title of world heavyweight champion three times. An extensive afterword fills in details about Ali’s life, faith, and activism. Ages 4–8. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Jan.)