I never thought it was truly ever really possible for a book based on events of the past to be so entrancing and genuinely interesting. This is where the book Boys in the Boat comes into play and completely proves me wrong. I was given this book to read for an academic event, and when I was fully ready to forcefully drag myself through this book it took me by surprise. This book encapsulates themes of harsh reality, hard work, and the joys of life through its story about one boy’s journey to survive to one group’s journey to grow strong enough to brave what was outside the lands of Seattle, Washington.

All throughout the book, each page was written in a way that reminded me of historical drama screenplays set in early 1900s America. As I followed the journey of the main character, Joe Rantz, I felt every emotion, every loss, and every triumph and victory like I was there myself. This story even managed to incorporate information about the main sport, rowing, within the complex of the main plot without completely overshadowing the book’s original purpose. Brown was able to masterfully create a piece that felt naturally paced, all while navigating a multitude of different characters and events from different points of view.

Each passage was heartfelt and was brilliantly written in a way that properly immerses the reader within the story rather than just stoically bombarding the reader with facts like most biographies do. This book would definitely intrigue audiences of young adults and all ages of teens.

Review by: Hailey R.

Hailey is a virtual volunteer at Sylmar Branch Library. She is a 9th grader at Bishop Alemany High School.

—Dana Eklund, Sylmar Branch Library