Throughout Part III of the novel, I was quite intrigued by how Al Ulbrickson suffered from indecision while picking his varsity crew. Ulbricksonʻs inability to select a set varsity crew really engaged me, and caused me to want to read more just so I could figure out who he would pick. While reading the chapter, I was routing for the sophomore boat the whole time, and was quite astonished when he decided to go with the older boys boat. Ulbrickson swept California with the sophomore boys in Varsity and the older boys in Junior Varsity, and I felt that he should have left the crews like that for the race in Poughkeepsie. Ulbricksonʻs decision to race the former junior varsity crew as his varsity crew ultimately caused him to fall just short of a clean sweep at Poughkeepsie. The thing that really got to me about Ulbricksonʻs decision was why did he decide not to listen to the observations the reporters made about his sophomore crew in the water.

While reading the book, I recognized that mostly throughout part 1 the author, Daniel James Brown would not tell the story of Joe Rantz in chronological order. I noticed this when the author begins talking about Joe attending the University of Washington in chapter 1, and then talking about his childhood in chapter 2. When I first began to read this, I was utterly confused, and it took me a few pages in to chapter 2 to realize that this basically talks about Joeʻs life before the crew. I feel that it was smart for the author to write about Joeʻs childhood as a way to set up his story, and for the audience to understand what he's been through, however I feel that he could maybe have switched around chapter 1 and 2, or maybe even make it apparent that chapter two is sort of a flashback.

Did the United States know that the holocaust was going on while the Berlin Olympics was happening? If they did or didn't know, then would they let the team go? Did they think that it didn't matter or did the United States not really care that their team went?

I admire how the author took the time to add an epilogue to the book. I feel that for me, it gave me a sense of closure, being able to know where each of the boys in the boat ended up after they won gold in Berlin. The thing that really got me was when the author talks about how the nine boys got together and rowed together one last time. I also noticed that the author would do the same throughout the book. There were instances where he would use quotes from the nine boys reminiscing on their victories, losses, and times on the boat. For me at least, these times where the author allows us to see where the boy ended up caused me to feel a sense of completeness towards the story. I appreciate how many of these boys, who came from nothing were able to make something of themselves and together were able to overcome tough times. This gives me a sense of empowerment, that no matter how bad things get, it will all be okay in the end, just like how it was for Joe Rantz and the other eight boys on the boat.

When I got to the part about Joe Rantz (chapter 2), I got mad/surprised that the dad chose his wife over Joe because they seemed to be closer than his other kids that he had. I would think he would chose Joe since that is his kid.

I didn't know that rowing was considered a popular sport back then. I was pretty cool to read about how popular it was because it was something new for me to learn.

Why did Magda Goebbels order to kill her children with cyanide? What made her want to kill her kids in the first place?

You are welcome to create folders for different types of responses or contributions to the community discussion, or just contribute on your selected schedule. Consider the messages communicated by the author, the techniques the author employs, and the effectiveness of those techniques. I also think it would be nice to consider the "people" we are meeting in our full-length works and how they compare and contrast each other. Keep your book write-up assignment and your ad campaign in mind as you read so that those products will be easier when you get to doing them. Happy reading. Mrs. T.
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