Author: Clark, Zion
Explores Zion's journey from a childhood lost in the foster care system to his hard-fought rise as a high school wrestler to his current rigorous training to prepare as an elite athlete on the world stage.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Hirsch, James S|
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/21)
School Library Journal (10/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/01/2021 Part memoir, part photo-essay, Zion Clark’s story is completely inspirational. Born without legs due to a rare medical condition known as caudal regression syndrome, African American Zion also faced abuse and neglect in the foster care system, with his mother in jail and his father absent. Undeterred, he became a winning wrestler, even against nondisabled opponents, and a state champion in seated racing competitions. Now Zion wants to serve as a role model and help young people overcome adversity. Forming the narrative is an opening essay and quotes in large text from Zion himself, as well as motivational sayings from people in Zion’s life; a brief overview of Zion’s path by coauthor Hirsch is also included, which recognizes the dual stigma often attached to Zion’s Blackness and disability. But it’s the large color photos of Zion in action that form the heart of the book. The most striking photo—Zion with a “NO EXCUSES” tattoo brandished on his back—sums up his life and his message. A moving read, no matter one’s ability, identity, or circumstances. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 Gr 2–4—A visual and motivational picture book autobiography. Zion Clark was born without legs, given up by his mother, and forced to face neglect in the foster care system. He went on to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics. Full-page color photographs with first-person captions show Clark working out, competing in wrestling and track, and bonding with his adoptive family. Bold-face quotes from Clark's coaches and foster parents portray him as a motivational figure. Readers will be left hoping for more specific information about Zion's disability and journey. A positive and uplifting look at overcoming adversity, Clark's autobiography could use more depth. VERDICT An uplifting autobiography from an athlete without legs. Consider as a general purchase for large collections.—Emily Bayci-Mroczek, Naperville P.L., IL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.