The Stone Thrower
by Jael Ealey Richardson, illustrated by Matt James
Groundwood Books, 2016
An inspiring, true story of Chuck Ealey who excelled at football when African American’s weren’t allowed to play.
A young boy living in the poor section of town, entertained himself by throwing rocks at the N on the N & W train cars that passed near his home. At first he missed, but he taught himself how to hit the moving target every time. His mom encouraged him to be like the trains that don’t stop until they get where they are going. With her encouragement, he vowed to “…get out of the North End and get my education.” In high school his coach asked him to be quarterback for his team. He took a lot of grief for that, for many didn’t believe African Americans were smart enough to do that. As quarterback, he won every high school game. By 1971 he had won more games than any other quarterback in college football history. Yet he wasn’t allowed to play on American professional teams, because of his skin color. To achieve his dream, he left and played in Canada.
Inspiring story. Moving illustrations are in pen and ink and splashes of bold acrylics.