Book - 2021
"This stunning photographic essay showcases Zion Clark's ferocious athleticism and undaunted spirit. It features striking, visually arresting images and an approachable and engaging text cowritten by New York Times best-selling journalist James S. Hirsch, including pieces of advice that have motivated Zion toward excellence and passages from Zion himself. The book explores Zion's journey from a childhood lost in the foster care system to his hard-fought rise as a high school wrest...ler to his current rigorous training to prepare as an elite athlete on the world stage. Included are a biography and a note from Zion. This first in a trilogy of books to be written by Zion Clark, subject of an award-winning Netflix short documentary, focuses on his quest for Olympic and Paralympic gold and is publishing in time for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games"--
- First edition
- Physical Description
- 31 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
- Ages 8-12
- Main Author
- Other Authors
Part memoir, part photo-essay, Zion Clark's story is completely inspirational. Born without legs due to a rare medical condition known as caudal regression syndrome, African American Zion also faced abuse and neglect in the foster care system, with his mother in jail and his father absent. Undeterred, he became a winning wrestler, even against nondisabled opponents, and a state champion in seated racing competitions. Now Zion wants to serve as a role model and help young people overcome adversity. Forming the narrative is an opening essay and quotes in large text from Zion himself, as well as motivational sayings from people in Zion's life; a brief overview of Zion's path by coauthor Hirsch is also included, which recognizes the dual stigma often attached to Zion's Blackness and disability. But it's the large color photos of Zion in action that form the heart of the book. The most striking photo—Zion with a "NO EXCUSES" tattoo brandished on his back—sums up his life and his message. A moving read, no matter one's ability, identity, or circumstances. Grades 3-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.Review by PW Annex Reviews
"Consider me Jim Thorpe without legs, with the passion of Malcolm X and the backbeat of Louis Armstrong," reads a bold early spot quote in this largely visual, mostly autobiographical profile of Zion Clark (b. 1997), a Black wrestler and seated racer—and "musical prodigy"—born without legs who hopes to become "the first American man to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics." After Clark and Hirsch reveal Clark's challenges, including abuse and neglect in Ohio's foster care system from infancy until he was adopted at 17 and "the dual stigma of Blackness and disability," quotes from loved ones, coaches, and Clark himself are highlighted in graphic capitalized letters, skillfully layered over energetic full-color photographs of Clark both in action and at rest. Though Clark's journey lacks enough detail here to transcend its magazine feature style, young readers will appreciate his incontestable tenacity and drive. Ages 8–12. (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 2–4—A visual and motivational picture book autobiography. Zion Clark was born without legs, given up by his mother, and forced to face neglect in the foster care system. He went on to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics. Full-page color photographs with first-person captions show Clark working out, competing in wrestling and track, and bonding with his adoptive family. Bold-face quotes from Clark's coaches and foster parents portray him as a motivational figure. Readers will be left hoping for more specific information about Zion's disability and journey. A positive and uplifting look at overcoming adversity, Clark's autobiography could use more depth. VERDICT An uplifting autobiography from an athlete without legs. Consider as a general purchase for large collections.—Emily Bayci-Mroczek, Naperville P.L., IL Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.
A photographic essay showcases Zion Clark, an elite wrestler and wheelchair racer born with no legs, exploring his journey from a childhood in the foster care system to his rising as an Olympic-level athlete. Illustrations.Review by Publisher Summary 2
In a photographic essay format, showcases Zion Clark, an elite wrestler and wheelchair racer born with no legs, exploring his journey from a childhood in the foster care system to his rising as an Olympic-level athlete.Review by Publisher Summary 3
An extraordinary, deeply inspirational photo essay follows elite wheelchair racer and wrestler and Netflix documentary star Zion Clark.This stunning photographic essay showcases Zion Clark’s ferocious athleticism and undaunted spirit. Cowritten by New York Times best-selling journalist James S. Hirsch, this book features striking, visually arresting images and an approachable and engaging text, including pieces of advice that have motivated Zion toward excellence and passages from Zion himself. Explore Zion’s journey from a childhood lost in the foster care system to his hard-fought rise as a high school wrestler to his current rigorous training to prepare as an elite athlete on the world stage. Included are a biography and a note from Zion. This first in a trilogy of books to be written by world-class athlete Zion Clark.