Jimmy the Greatest!Book - 2012
Listed as one of the Best Children's Books of 2012 by Kirkus, honored with the Horn Book Fanfare, and selected for the School Library Journal's 100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2012
Jimmy lives in a small town by the sea where there is just one tiny gym. The owner of the gym suggests that Jimmy start training, and to inspire him, he gives Jimmy a box full of books, as well as newspaper clippings about Muhammad Ali - "The Greatest." Jimmy is swept with admiration for Ali. He begins to read and run and box like crazy, even though someone at the gym has taken his shoes. And as he does so, he makes a great discovery: you don't have to leave home to be "the greatest."
Unlike many stories about emigration, Jairo Buitrago's simple, profound text is about someone who decides to stay in his small remote town in Latin America. Combined with Rafael Yockteng's humorous illustrations, this book will be especially appealing to boys and boxing aficionados.
The Spanish edition, ¡Jimmy, el más grande!, was recently nominated for one of "Los mejores libros del año" (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela's Banco del Libro.
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Jimmy’s fishing village is not particularly big or impressive since “there is usually only one small church and, if you’re lucky, a little gym where you can hit a punching bag, skip rope or box.” Boxing is precisely what Jimmy and all the other kids in the village spend a lot of their time doing, until one day Don Apolinar (who runs the gym) gives Jimmy a box containing books, magazines, and information about a guy named Muhammad Ali. Suddenly Jimmy starts using those glasses he never paid much attention to before and he’s reading everything he can get his hands on. In time, Don Apolinar leaves the village for the big city, but that’s okay. Jimmy stays behind, opening a little library and improving the boxing ring, and making the village a better place.
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