About the Book
“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” is an uplifting and fast-paced Cinderella story.
This nonfiction work describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler’s Berlin. The story of poor, twice-orphaned Joe Rantz anchors this cinematic tale of passion and perseverance set against the struggles of the Great Depression and a looming Second World War. Drawing on interviews, journals and period photographs, Brown tells the fascinating story of these unlikely American heroes.
The book’s publisher calls “The Boys in the Boat” an “irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times.”
“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down . . . What matters is how many times you get up.” – Rower Joe Rantz, quoted in “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown
In 1936, the crew team from the University of Washington won Olympic gold. They shouldn’t have. They were certainly talented and determined enough to win, but the odds were stacked against them, with one team member sick, their boat given the worst lane assignment, and them missing the signal that started the gold-medal race. This year’s One Read selection, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, follows members of this ragtag group of rowers as they struggle through the Great Depression, physical adversity, and personal tragedy to become one of the greatest crew teams in our nation’s history.
Taking inspiration from “The Boys in the Boat,” we invite you to tell a story about beating the odds in 250 words or less. The moment can be significant or subtle, but all stories must contain an element of the underdog, of someone unexpectedly prevailing, or of a character getting up one more time than he or she is knocked down.
Starting September 2, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.
Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.
On the Water
A One Read Art Exhibit
Orr Street Studios (106 Orr Street, Columbia)
“It’s a great art, is rowing. It’s the finest art there is.” ~ George Pocock, as quoted by Daniel James Brown in “The Boys in the Boat”
Inspired by this year’s One Read selection, we invite Mid-Missouri artists to contribute works that explore a range of experiences and views of water, whether from shore or flying across the water itself, “in a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.”
Cash prizes will be awarded for three winners, courtesy of Columbia’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The third place winner will receive $50, the second place winner $75 and the first place winner $125. The first place winner will also receive a $100 gift certificate from the Columbia Art League Art, good for use towards any class. Art will be displayed September 7-20 at Orr Street Studios with an opening reception, awards and program on Tuesday, September 9 at 6 p.m.
Submission Details Continue reading
On May 27, KFRU’s David Lile interviewed this year’s One Read author Daniel Brown about his book, “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” Listen to Brown speak about the book’s origins and response to being chosen for our community-wide reading program.