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The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics

(The Boys in The Boat)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  6,603 ratings  ·  753 reviews
The #1 New York Times  bestseller about the Greatest Generation freshly adapted for the next generation.

For readers of  Unbroken, out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard work
Hardcover, Young Readers Adaptation, 227 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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sarah morgan I think this part of the book description explains it: "This deeply emotional yet easily accessible **middle-grade adaptation** of the New York Times …moreI think this part of the book description explains it: "This deeply emotional yet easily accessible **middle-grade adaptation** of the New York Times bestselling The Boys in the Boat shows readers how we can find hope in the most desperate of times." (less)

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 ·  6,603 ratings  ·  753 reviews

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Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant!!! This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. The fact that my heart started pumping during the description of numerous races I already knew the outcome to speaks volumes about the skills of the author. As amazing as the story of the competitions may have been it was the lessons in life threaded throughout the book that will stay with me the most. I love the messages of perseverance against all odds, hardwork, overcoming heartbreak, the power of teamwork, selflessne
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I accidentally checked out this version, the "young readers" adaption by mistake but I'm glad I did. :) I didn't know much about rowing before reading this - so fun to learn about it. I really, really enjoyed reading the story of these guys - about hard work, perseverance and overcoming when the odds are stacked against them. I couldn't help but get teary-eyed at the end. This book is a great read for all ages!
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sandra by: Jeff
Shelves: history
This is one of those books I just couldn't put down. I am quite interested in WWII, and to have a true success story, with Nazi Germany as a back ground, well, this was a double dip of happiness for me. In addition, the author weaves together the unrelenting depression, when so many lost so much, including Joe Rantz's family. There is just so much in this book. The dust bowl. Weather statistics that have yet to be broken. Child abandonment. The Olympics of 1936, in Nazi Germany. And the delibera ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well done and interesting.
Kim Clifton
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a runner, so the one time I stood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I was shocked when I found myself crying. Watching people push themselves to do something against the limits of human athleticism moved me in a way I couldn't expect. Reading this book must have been a similar experience because I found myself choking up the entire time. I don't even like sports. Why is my face so wet?!?
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my 13 year old son and we both really enjoyed it. Having read both the 'regular' and 'young reader's edition', I think I would probably stick with the full version. Unless you're reading to really young readers (maybe under 10), I think you miss parts of the story that bring it more color & life. There isn't content that I would worry about for older kids & I missed some of the detail from the original. That being said, this story is still fantastic. Really glad we read this tog ...more
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
The boys rowing team at Washington University made it to the Olympics for the first time ever. Follow their journey to the olympics in the book The Boys in The Boat by Daniel James Brown. The book follows the perspective of Joe Rantz and his rowing team on their way to the 1936 Olympic Games. Joe and his team were in college during the time of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Joe’s crew were mostly lumberjacks and farm boys that didn't know what rowing was before college. Despite their lack of ...more
Greta Slabach
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read about a sport I had never heard of and an event that was so important in pre-WWII history. But no one really talks about it either.
You should definitely read this book! I got so emotionally involved and this was only the adapted version for young readers. Still really good.
This adapted version was the first I had heard of this book and now I want the original.

Boys. Teamwork. Struggle. Pain. Loss and hardship. Close calls and endurance. This book has it all.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this young readers version of this book as a read-aloud to my daughter and son (8 and 11). We all loved it! Such a great story of how adversity can make us strong and determined, and how learning to depend on others can deepen our connections and bring us hope and joy.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Our family listened to this book at the recommendation of my oldest son who read it in school. It was a great family audiobook. The story is compelling. We plan to watch the races described in the book on YouTube this week.
Kendra Kendle
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Reads like a novel. So good.
I knew this would be good but have not gotten to it until now unfortunately. It exceeded expectations and will be added to my favorites.
Lorea Roson
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
This was a phenomenal read, and one I wouldn't have begun had it not been on my lit group's discussion list. What did I know or care about rowing? But as much as I learned about that grueling and exacting sport, I learned more about the times in which this book was set, the human condition, and the politics of sport than I had ever expected to know.

This is the story of the U of Washington's crew team that won at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. The story centers around one member of the crew, Joe R
Abby Johnson
Okay. So, first of all, I have read the original adult version of this book (listened to the audiobook) and LOVVVEEEDDD it. So this is truly a review of the adaptation for young people.

It included my favorite bits, which were compellingly written play-by-plays of the important races that the guys rowed. I think there was less of an emphasis on the elite history of the sport of rowing crew, which softened the edge of competition between the crews from the West and the crews from the East. I thin
Nov 08, 2015 added it
Shelves: book-club
My book club picked this book for its latest selection. It's become quite a popular book becoming a pick for "One Book, One Community" so I thought I'd have no trouble getting a copy at the library. I was wrong. But I found one available copy! It had a different cover than the others, but didn't think anything of it. Come to find out, I've been reading the 'Young Readers Adaptation' the whole time. I blew through most of the book in one night, bragged to my book club about finishing early and th ...more
The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics is a fabulous story of true grit and determination. These nine young men from the University of Washington set out to be the best rowers the world had to offer. With hardly any money to their names, living in the depths of The Great Depression, these men were sons of farmers, loggers, and shipyard workers, hardly any match to the wealthy and privileged rowers from the East Coast who usually t ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book of 2016 so far, by far. It's so intriguing that one can already know the outcome of historical events and yet thrill at the suspense of the story itself. The wholehearted yearning of Joe Rantz and his fellows to overcome all odds is the human story in a nutshell. My inner cynic could argue that this is just a more protracted, old-fashioned version of the athlete profiles journalists tell during every Olympics. But so what. I loved reading how these boys and their boat tr ...more
Laura Moss
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
Apparently, I listened to the YA version on audiobook without realizing it. I didn't even know there was more than one version. Come to find out that authors are currently releasing versions of non-fiction books for young readers that have graphic scenes edited out. I think that's wonderful! From what I found out, the original version of this particular book was not really graphic, so much as, it contains more detailed descriptions of rowing that might be difficult for younger readers to underst ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My nine year old and I read the Young Reader's version of this book together and we both loved it! We were hooked from the very beginning and didn't want to put it down each night. Who knew that rowing could be so intense and exciting? I love that this was such an inspiring, memorable read for us to share together. I would highly recommend this and I'm picking up the adult book to read again.
Mrs.  Barrett
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Boys in the Boat is fantastic! I really did not think that I would love a book about rowing/crew as much as I did. This book really hooks the reader in with the interesting backstories of "the boys," Joe Rantz in particular.

Their quest for the 1936 Olympics is fascinating as well. It's a wonderful book with a good selection of images, diagrams and timelines.
Kari Sweeten
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that make you want to go out, try something new, work your tail off, and succeed at anything!

Joy H.
Added 9/2/18. (Published September 8th 2015)
Young Readers Adaptation from OverDrive at:
"This adaptation of the adult title The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Viking, 2013) chronicles the powerful University of Washington crew team that took the gold in Berlin. The book centers on one untrained rower, Joe Rantz, who was working his way through college. The team was guided by
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
My friends do not know this about me, but I rowed on the youngest competing women’s crew in US on Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA in the early 70’s. I learned to row in Oakland on a barge with four oars on each side, and a coach’s walk down the middle. He shouted at us, prodded us (we were 12 and 13 years old), but still thought we had something. Later, I rowed again on community teams in Everett, WA in my twenties. The US women’s Olympic team (Seoul) trained on these same waters of the Snohomish Rive ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
“It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you.”

Such an inspiring story about friendship, hard work, dedication, and perseverance. I loved it. I started reading the original book, but about 30% of the way through, I found myself checking to see how far I was way too often. I loved learning about Joe, Pocock, and the coaches’ struggles to decide on the teams, but
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-the-kids
This book is adapted for middle grade readers from the original adult non-fiction book of the same name. I read this aloud with my 9 year old who happens to love reading non-fiction. I actually liked this version of the book even better than the original, which I read several years ago. It omits some of the repetitive elements (I remember feeling like I was getting a weather report for every single day of Joe's college rowing career) without losing the overall story at all. I do still wish we go ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics (adapted for young readers) is a pretty good book that grew in suspense all throughout the 227 pages. That is why I give this novel four stars. The Boys in the Boat is written by Daniel James Brown. The main theme of this book is that a team that trusts in each others’ strengths can achieve much more than one that does not. That theme is shown time and time again when Joe Rantz and crew from ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am absolutely positively not interested in sports so this book has sat on my night stand for a year. Finally began to read it and was hooked. The book is about the journey in terms of personal histories of the boys-and one in particular-and their incredible ability to overcome difficult lives. Perseverance and hard work and ultimately forgiveness.
Along with the wonderful character development, the background of what was happening in the US and Germany during those years was done so well. The d
Amy-Jo Conant
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I knew nothing about rowing. Readers will be blown away by the hardships endured. Growing up during the Great Depression is so different from anything young readers could fathom.

I think those interested in rowing, Olympic stories, biographies or the great depression would enjoy this book.

I would like to note that readers may feel the story slow in parts. For the non-rowing audience, it can seem redundant at times when races are described. They are described in great detail which is exciting bu
Estela Torres
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first, I didn't really like this book because there was a lot of information and not really a story. I felt sad for Joe's childhood and his way of life. The details that the author provides really make you feel sad about the way that Joe had to live.
But suddenly, there was a change in this book, it got really exciting. There was a conflict, a goal to reach. The hard work that the boys had to make every day to be able to reach that goal has encouraged me to work hard and reach my goals.
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Play Book Tag: The Boys in the Boat ~ 5 stars 6 20 Feb 19, 2020 03:21PM  
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28 likes · 15 comments
“Standing there watching them, it occurred to me that when Hitler watched Joe and the boys fight their way back from the rear of the field to sweep ahead of Italy and Germany seventy-five years ago, he saw, but did not recognize heralds of his doom. He could not have known that one day hundreds of thousands of boys just like them, boys who shared their essential natures--decent and unassuming, not privileged or favored by anything in particular, just loyal, committed, and perseverant--would return to Germany dressed in olive drab, hunting him down.
"They are almost all gone now--the legions of young men who saved the world in the years just before I was born. But that afternoon, standing on the balcony of Haus West, I was swept with gratitude for their goodness and their grace, their humility and their honor, their simple civility and all the things they taught us before they flitted across the evening water and finally vanished into the night.”
“Her father was cold and distant, more likely to cuddle the family dog than one of his own children. He believed that hard work meant more than anything, and that no amount of it was too much.” 0 likes
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