What are LitBits?YA Version of Maraniss’ Strong Inside Opens Civil Rights Story to Middle Schoolers

Andrew-Maraniss-Strong-InsideMany important world and national events are rife with stories of violence, fear, and tremendous injustice. Some of the key events that we endured during the civil rights movement of the sixties are (understandably) tamed in discussion with young readers, leaving students with an incomplete understanding of history.

Andrew MaranissStrong Inside, which chronicles the career of Perry Wallace, the first African-American college basketball player in the south, serves an important role in facilitating campus and community discussions around racial tensions in the US. The book tells of the daily, unflinching hate of the Tenessee communities in the mid-60s and the courage and perseverance of Wallace, an unsung pioneer in the civil rights movement. “It’s not just the story of a trailblazing athlete,” according to Maraniss’ website, “but of civil rights, race in America, decades of ostracism, and eventual reconciliation and healing.”


And it’s now available in a YA format. “This version is aimed at middle school kids,” says Maraniss, “though it is not dumbed down at all from the original—just a lot shorter.”

David Maraniss is lauded as an energetic, passionate, and compelling speaker who brings “Wallace’s story to life” and the audience “to a place of reflective thought,” leaving students with a “more empathetic view of the civil rights era and a stronger determination towards positive action rather than complacent non­-action.”

A New York Times bestseller, winner of the RFK Book Awards’ “Special Recognition” honor and the Lillian Smith Book Award, Strong Inside is Maraniss’ first book. For more information about Andrew’s work, contact Books In Common directly at (541) 318-6288.


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