Becoming Muhammad Ali - book cover
Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • Publisher : jimmy patterson; Illustrated edition
  • Published : 05 Oct 2020
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN-10 : 0316498165
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316498166
  • Language : English

Becoming Muhammad Ali

From two heavy-hitters in children's literature comes a critically acclaimed biographical novel of cultural icon Muhammad Ali. *"This utterly delightful story about Ali's childhood is a smash hit." -- School Library Journal (starred review)  Longlisted for the 2022-2023 Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award, and nominated for the 2021-2022 Black Eyed Susan Book Award!

Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius' family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.

Fully authorized by and written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, and vividly brought to life by Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic artwork, Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Becoming Muhammad Ali:

* "A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today's readers."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "The prose and poems reflect Clay's both public bravado and private humbleness as well as his appreciation and respect for family and friends. A knockout!"―Booklist, starred review

* "This utterly delightful story about Ali's childhood is a smash hit. Get this uplifting, informative book onto library shelves and into kids' hands."―School Library Journal, starred review

* "Cassius's narrative illustrates his charisma, drive, and work to know who you are."―Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Patterson and Alexander, two heavyweights in the world of books, unite to tell the story of how Cassius Clay grew up to be Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time."―The Horn Book, starred review

Readers Top Reviews

Serge Danielson-Fran
Kwame Alexander and James Patterson's biography of Ali is funny, engaging, and compelling. Lexi is writing her first ever five paragraph essay about Muhammad Ali. Key details from his childhood in Louisville help explain his worldview and his lifelong commitment to acts of compassion and courage.
Eric H. Malloy
A great book for kids, but I loved it too. I want to buy a copy for my grand kids for their birthdays in the spring. Very inspiring to learn about Ali's childhood, and what it was like growing up during segregation. Really saw what motivated him to greatness. And the illustrations are beautiful and very cool.
I purchased this book for my niece. She loved it! This is a good children's book. It shows children how to get through challenges and stand up for themselves and be courageous and fearless like Muhammad Ali. He did not give up no matter how many obstacles he faced. I recommend this book to children and adults. We all struggle with life challenges.
I met Muhammad Ali at a book signing in Washington, D.C. He was a WONDERFUL human being..The book tells of his beginning and end .. Unfortunately, it does not tell of his kindness and sweetness as a human. He was a KIng among men..I call him THE BUDAH....
Cameron Mullen
I love when I buy a book for my fourth grade classroom library and it becomes THE book that everyone wants to read. I think only one of my fourth graders knew who Muhammad Ali was before I got this book, but after doing a "book tasting" it generated some major interest. Now there is an actual waitlist for this book. If you have kids that are into sports more than reading, this is the book for them. It is a fairly easy read, it's written in verse, but a great story.

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