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More Than Rivals: A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  40 reviews
An Inspiring True Story Set in the Midst of the Civil Rights Era

By 1970, racial tension was at a breaking point in the southern town of Gallatin, Tennessee. Desegregation had emotions running high. The town was a powder keg ready to erupt. But it was also on the verge of something incredible.

Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon were boys growing up on opposite sides of the tracks
Paperback, 311 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Bonnie In my opinion, yes. This is a great book for teens. The characters are young and dealing with a lot of issues that teens and children deal with, so it…moreIn my opinion, yes. This is a great book for teens. The characters are young and dealing with a lot of issues that teens and children deal with, so it is a great read for them, and there is a lot you can discuss afterward. Many children and teens don't realize how different life was in the 1960s and 70s! (less)

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Start your review of More Than Rivals: A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White
I'm not a sports fan at all, but More Than Rivals is much more than just about sports: it's about race, faith, integration and friendship, among other things.

Well-written and fast-paced, the book draws you in quickly and takes you back to the 60s and 70s, small town Tennessee and what life was like there back then. The ugliness of racism and segregation are shown, but, ultimately, this book is positive and uplifting.

Thank you to Netgalley and Revell publishing for a copy of this in exchange fo
Victor Gentile
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ken Abraham in his new book, “More Than Rivals” published by Revell gives us A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White.

From the back cover: In 1970, one small southern town was a powder keg ready to erupt.
But it was also on the verge of something incredible.

Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon grew up on opposite sides of the tracks in Gallatin, Tennessee. They knew the barriers that divided them–some physical landmarks and some hidden in the heart–but those barriers
Joanne Viola
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
More Than Rivals by Ken Abraham is more than a book about basketball. It is the true story of the success and greatness two boys can achieve through a deep love for each other that grows out of a love for the game.

Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligion grew up in Gallatin, Tennessee, literally, on different sides of the track, when more than the train tracks separated them. These two boys let barriers of race and family melt away as their friendship deepened whenever they could find a hoop to shoot baske
Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
What a powerful story! Although the main topic, understandably, was basketball in this book, there was so much more to it than that. While the rest of the United States looked to integrate black and white, Gallatin wanted to hold on to old traditions. Separate schools, barber shops, diners, and even neighborhoods. On the surface it seemed as though it was okay with both sides, but under the surface that wasn't always the case.

Enter young Eddie and Bill, two boys who loved playing basketball mor
Christian Fiction Addiction
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It definitely shows talent when an author can take a true story and weave it into an entertaining tale that reads like fiction - and Ken Abraham has shown he has that talent in spades with his novel, "More Than Rivals". Within only a few pages of the book, I found myself immersed in Eddie and Bill's story to the point that I was rooting for them to win every basket ball game they were playing, and cheering on the unlikely friendship between black and white. I was shaking my head at the racism di ...more
Lori Wasson
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book was about 2 boys, one white and one black, who ended up becoming basketball stars in their respective schools and about their life growing up in the racially charged 60s. The book culminated in a basketball tournament game, competing for the championship, between Eddie Sherlin’s school, with predominately white students and Bill Ligon’s school, with black students.

I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed reading about the boys’ antics and also about the friendship between Eddie and Bill. Ev
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 9th graders
Recommended to Michelle by: Revell

`More Than Rivals` is a steady-paced biography of Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon, written by Ken Abraham. It's a true story about two guys who grew up on the opposite sides of the tracks, and how they became best friends. The story takes place in Gallatin, Tenn. in the 1960's.

This book was written in dedication of: Anna Bransford Ligon (mother of Bill Ligon), Jimmy H. (Bo) Sherlin, Jr. (brother of Eddie Sherlin), Dan P. Herron (former principal of Gallatin High School), and Professor John V. Mal
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

"More Than Rivals" by Ken Abraham is a book about 2 young men in the 60's and 70's one white (Eddie Sherlin) and one African American (Bill Ligon) coming together as friends at a basketball championship in Tennessee in 1970. What was so important about his tournament well it was between two schools that were still mostly segregated with very big amounts of racism still lingering around in their portion of Tennessee. This was a very interesting book and is one that I think should be read by a lot
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone in Gallatin, Tennesse, and all the rest of the south in 1960's, knew the rules. Blacks and whites don't mix. Ever. Even though things like segregation were going on... blacks and whites don't mix.

Everyone except for Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon, that is. Basketball, after all, doesn't care about the color of the hand that bounces it. It just needs to be bounced.

They didn't set out to make a difference in their town. They weren't out to change things. But God used their relationship to n
V Luttrell
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This is an awesome read for the most part. I read it not because I am a sports fan but because I wanted to see how life in the 1970's really was like. wow was I in for a surprise, I knew so little about this time and how poorly black people were treated. In this chapter book we see how friendships change a town. One will follow two boys life story as they grow up with a fond love for basket ball. Not: some of the romance I did not think was necessary in this story. I found it filled up pages for ...more
Sharon Paavola
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am an avid basketball fan and this book had me from the first page! You don't need to be one to see the amazing drive early in the lives of these two young men . The historical background of black meeting white in a time and place in the United States added a heavy yet ironic statement. The details the author included were crisp and key to fully grasp the dimensions of the contrasts and similarities of Eddie Sherlin and Bill Ligon, their families, their faith, and neighborhoods.

This is a rare
I've really enjoyed listening to this inspiring true story set in the civil rights era of 1960s/70s southern America. I'm not a sports fan so I'm glad this wasn't just about basketball, but more about the two boys growing up on different sides of a divided town. Roscoe Orman narrated this perfectly for me changing his voice for all the different characters, making me laugh out loud, sign and shake my head in disbelief as the story progressed. Having never personally experienced racial discrimina ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring story! Two young boys find friendship despite tensions in their home town of Gallatin, Tennessee. Eddie and Bill never saw "black or white," they just played a game they both loved to play and neither allowed the negativity win out. The friendship continued throughout the years and no matter what, they always did what was right! They did not succumb to the hatred and in turn they showed their town how seeing each other as equals and having faith can bring about healing for so m ...more
Alecia Simersky
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
As soon as I received the book, my husband picked it up and began to read it. I had to wait for him to finish before I could even begin. And he HATES reading. But the story of two young kids brought together by their love of basketball and dared to cross racial boundaries was intriguing. I can't think of a more appropriate read at this time in our country. Personally, I felt like the storyline jumped around a bit much and it was hard to keep track of the characters at first. But I stuck with it ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is my book club choice for August. I'm not really too fond of reading books on sports, but this book is more than sports. It's about two boys, one white, one black that become friends during a time when this was unheard of. The one thing that connects them is basketball. Eddie and Bill eventually grow apart, but the friendship is still there. It is shown at the Finals of the 1970 season. Eddie's school, all white, Gallatin High and Bill's school, all black Union High have to face each other ...more
Katie Tseng
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b
Two young boys who share a love for basketball are growing up in a racially divided town. They both are able to escape the awareness of their skin color and enjoy some time on the court together when they are children. But, eventually both families move to different homes and the boys don't have many opportunities to interact until a championship game that pits the local black high school against the local white high school, right before the two schools were planning to integrate. This is a love ...more
Dianna (SavingsInSeconds blog)
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This true story reads like a novel. Set during the Civil Rights Era, it shows how sports can unite people. Racial barriers were no match for the courage, determination, and strong character of the people in Gallatin, Tennessee. The characters are richly developed, and read photos of the true story are contained inside the book. More Than Rivals should be a movie! Fans of Remember the Titans and The Blind Side will love it. I received this book from Baker Publishing for a blog post, opinions shar ...more
Sherry Lynn
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
And I thought . . .
I can't say much more than the qualified people who have already endorsed this book.
Borrowing from a few . . . 'monster slam dunk' , 'riveting',
'outstanding', 'you'll laugh and cry'.
I can add one word 'timely'.

Everyone needs to read this 5 star book.
I received a complimentary copy of More Than Rivals
from Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

This review will be posted at:
My Journey Back
Dick Hamilton
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book. The story is quite timely, with its focus on race relations, but also about friendship. While the book centers around basketball, this is not a basketball book. The author does an excellent job in building the story to the really key moment - about five pages from the end of the book so you really need to wait for it. Whether you like sports or not, I think you will like this book.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
GREAT story! Set in the racially turbulent 1960's, this follows the childhood of 2 young men, one black, one white, culminating in a cross town High School Basketball Championship Game that affects the entire community. Faith in God and their friendship with one another make all the difference in how the story ends. A MUST read! #doingtherightthing ...more
Lynn Cutting
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you want to read a good story about basketball and history this is your book. I loved the history and the story from the very beginning. Such a good story!! My favorite book so far this summer!!!
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book engaged me from the beginning, and not just because I am a basketball fan. More Than Rivals tells the story of one small town in Tennessee and how a championship basketball game helped it to come to grips with the racial undercurrent there. Especially inspiring because it is
Jess Brown
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a super easy going read. It's a true story which I always love to read. The characters made you feel like you really knew them and I felt like I could put myself in the story. ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
More Than Rivals is a touching inspiring story. I found this book to be quite moving and believe everyone would get a huge lesson out of it.
5 plus stars.
Brenten Gilbert

Well written, interesting, and heartwarming.
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved the story- heartwarming and sweet. I think it would make a great movie. I didn't like the writing- it felt obvious and that they were working to hard to be educational. ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book and the perfect end to my 2016 reading list.
Alan Pittman
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When's the movie coming out?!

Great book! As a Gallatin resident, a very interesting read. Now I'm ready to see it on the big screen!
Bob Eckel
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the story. Makes me want to research and learn more of the people involved in the years following. Only dissapointment in the book was a bit of a sappy ending. Otherwise, loved it.
Emily Moore
Apr 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Good story. Very slow moving. Couldn't get through it. ...more
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Ken Abraham is a New York Times best-selling author, known around the world for his collaborations with popular celebrities and fascinating, high-profile public figures. Ken worked with Lisa Beamer, widow of United Flight 93 hero, Todd Beamer to create the number one New York Times best-seller, LET'S ROLL! (Tyndale House Publishers, August, 2002), Lisa's story of hope in the midst of crisis.

Ken re

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