A comprehensive look at the life of the man who has often been called the World’s Fastest Human. Jesse Owens was born on a farm to a large family with many siblings. His grandparents had been slaves, and his sharecropper parents were poor. But against all odds, Jesse went on to become one of the greatest athletes in history. He learned to run with such grace that people said he was a “floating wonder.” After setting multiple world records as a college athlete, Jesse competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Adolf Hitler intended for the games to display Aryan superiority, but Jesse disrupted that plan. He became the first American track-and-field athlete to receive four gold medals, and established his legacy as a hero in the face of prejudice. This child friendly entry in David A. Adler’s well-known series contains an accessible mix of biography, facts, and history supported with lifelike illustrations. Back matter includes an author’s note and a timeline.
Robert Casilla, whose work has appeared in Black Enterprise magazine, The New York Times, and a number of other publications, received a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He also illustrated Mr. Adler’s older biographies on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson. Mr. Casilla lives with his wife and son in Yonkers, New York.