How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Frank Morrison
Sometimes you have to sit down, to stand up.”
It’s that time of year again! While fans are glued to their screens, anticipating college basketball wins through their March Madness brackets, elementary schoolers far and wide are elbow deep in picture books eagerly awaiting the announcement of the picture book March Madness title winner!
This year’s Picture Book March Madness theme is turning points. As our children reflect on the many dramatic turning points that they’ve experienced in the last few years, they also learn to study the journeys of characters by identifying their significant turning points.
One of the most popular books in our initial Sweet Sixteen book-bracket is Above the Rim; How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball. This book tells the story of how one professional basketball’s first black athlete sat in peaceful protest of Jim Crow laws, until the world took notice. Elgin Baylor’s story is set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. His story is poetically woven in and out of the stories of others who sat down to stand up, like Rosa Parks, lunch counter protesters, and school intentegration advocates. Above the Rim demonstrates how professional athletes in the NBA and other brave individuals engage in peaceful protest to fight injustice and create societal change.
Above the Rim moves readers of all ages. Bryant’s poignant use of repetition coupled with Morrisons, superhuman illustrations inspire readers to stand up for what is right.