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Michael Oher is the young man at the center of the true story depicted in The Blind Side movie (and book) that swept up awards and accolades. Though the odds were heavily stacked against him, Michael had a burning desire deep within his soul to break out of the Memphis inner-city ghetto and into a world of opportunity. While many people are now familiar with Oher's amazing journey, this is the first time he has shared his account of his story in his own words, revealing his thoughts and feelings with details that only he knows, and offering his point of view on how anyone can achieve a better life.
Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had for himself in order to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family for so long. He recounts poignant stories of growing up in the projects and running from child services and foster care over and over again in search of some familiarity. Eventually, he grasped onto football as his ticket out of the madness and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. But Oher also knew he would not be successful alone. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams.
Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Susan on 02-19-11
Must-read for anyone who works with kids
Let's start by recognizing that this is not great literature, nor is it a "football book". It IS a personal account of a young man determined to succeed in spite of his circumstances, and how he went about acheiving his goals. Without being in any way exploitative, Michael Oher does not pull punches in describing life with his birth family and in the foster care system. Throughout, he balances the negative experiences with stories of love, family loyalty, and people who went out of their way to help. He shows us that love and caring transcend race and socio-economic status.
The assumption is that the reader/listener has seen the movie The Blind Side, and I was glad to have already listened to the Tuohys' book, In a Heartbeat. This book doesn't criticize either, but it corrects some things from the first and fills in some gaps from the second. The focus is on convincing young people that they have options, that they can "make it", and encouraging them to make good choices to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.
The final section, with excerpts from letters to Michael and a list of some resources available to help at-risk kids, is better suited to print than audio; still, it gives the listener a start on ways to get involved in helping other kids beat the odds.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By AB on 04-23-12
Not the Blind Side
I loved The Blind Side book, this wasn't it. I was so intrigued by his story, but at times I felt he seemed arrogant and such a sense of entitlement. My favorite parts were the stories of his brothers and sisters, the loved they share is amazing and would love to hear more.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful