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Kids Can Press

Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory

Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory

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The inspirational and little-known story of a dedicated teacher who coached Hawaiian swimmers all the way to the Olympics, beautifully told in simple rhyme.When the children of workers on a 1930s Maui sugar plantation were chased away from playing in the nearby irrigation ditches, local science teacher Soichi Sakamoto had an idea. He offered to take responsibility for the children --- and then he began training them how to swim. Using his science background, Sakamoto devised his own innovative coaching techniques: he developed a strict practice regime for the kids, building their strength and endurance by using the ditch water's natural current. The children worked hard under the dedicated Sakamoto's guidance, and their skills improved. They formed a swim club and began to dominate in swimming events around the world. And then one day, the proud Sakamoto saw an impossible dream come true --- Olympic gold In a unique approach that makes for a moving read-aloud, Julie Abery uses limited rhyming text to tell the little-known story of Coach Sakamoto and the Three-Year Swim Club. The stunning art of award-winning and highly acclaimed Chris Sasaki perfectly complements the lyrical storytelling. This inspiring picture book offers excellent lessons in perseverance, believing in yourself and not letting others define you, while wonderfully capturing how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. In highlighting the team's "bright and loud" presence at events, with their Hawaiian dress and ukulele, it also encourages children to take pride in their heritage and view it as a strength. An author's note with photos and more information tell the fuller story of Soichi Sakamoto and his Three-Year Swim Club.

Author: Julie Abery
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Published: 05/04/2021
Pages: 40
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.95lbs
Size: 8.75h x 10.30w x 0.45d
ISBN: 9781525300318
Audience: Ages 9-12

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 2.2
Point Value: 0.5
Interest Level: Lower Grade
Quiz #/Name: 511924 / Sakamoto's Swim Club: How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory


Review Citation(s):
Booklist 03/01/2021 pg. 40
School Library Journal 05/01/2021 pg. 94
Kirkus Reviews 05/01/2021
Horn Book Magazine 09/01/2021 pg. 111
Publishers Weekly 08/23/2021

About the Author
Julie Abery is a children's author and early childhood educator. Originally from England, she has spent half of her life living in Europe, immersing herself in new languages and cultures. She currently lives in Switzerland.

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