A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots to talk about in this graphic sports autobiography: sportsmanship, tenacity, the pressures put on young athlete The back matter advocates for self-empowerment for Black and Brown kids through education and leadership.
Be true to your dreams. Don't compromise for the sake of others.
Positive Role Models
Colin is both a scholar and an athlete. He works hard to maintain top physical conditioning, while keeping his grades up. When everyone wants him to play baseball, he stands up for joining the football team. Tiffany, an African American girl from his English class that Colin asks to the spring dance works hard at basketball and her schoolwork. Colin thought she was cute, "But more than that, she had confidence. She seemed so comfortable in her own skin. Laid- back. Chill. It was like anywhere Tiffany went, she knew she was meant to be there. I admired that."
Colin is Black but his siblings and adoptive parents are White. Colin is biracial (African American and White). His high school has some students of color, with various skin tones and hair types shown in school and sports scenes. Colin's romantic interest, Tiffany, is a Black student athlete and positive role model for Colin. In his junior and senior year of high school, Colin begins to takes greater pride in his Black heritage. He's aware of racism at school and overhears a White student using the "N" word in a joke (and it's actually spelled out). And and on the baseball team bus, a White teammate describes a Mexican buying a restaurant in town as "stealing another job" from a White person. Colin turns around and tells the boy, "That's not cool. ... What you said is really messed up." One of Colin's father's White friends wears a trucker hat with a Confederate flag on it, which makes Colin uncomfortable. "Even though I was in high school at the time, I still knew that the Confederate flag symbolized slavery and racism." After the story concludes, there's a 10-page, photo-illustrated section devoted to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camps, which work to empower Black and Brown kids to liberate themselves through education, mass mobilization, and the systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders. This section features photos of Colin meeting students in Las Vegas.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Colin is interested in Tiffany and takes her to the to the spring dance. On the drive home, she rests her head on his shoulder, and it shows them hugging at her door.
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On one occasion, Colin overhears a White student use the "N" word (actually spelled out) when telling a degrading joke about Black people.
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Colin Kaepernick: Change the Game is graphic novel memoir co-written by the Super Bowl quarterback and civil rights activist with Eve L. Ewing. It takes place mostly during his junior and senior years of high school, when nearly everyone expects him to play baseball in college, but he decides he wants to pursue football. Colin overhears White student using the "N" word in a degrading joke, and overhears a White teammate on the team bus referring to a "Mexican stealing another job" from a White person. There's no violence or swearing. There's a hint of romance, with Colin asking a girl he admires to the spring dance.
Is It Any Good?
Graphic memoirs are tricky, but this autobiography scores on all fronts. With Change the Game, Colin Kaepernick and Eve L. Ewing present Colin's story with passion, conveying the athlete's ambition and follow-through. Artist Orlando Caicedo keeps the narrative moving with his kinetic layouts. Middle-grade and teen readers will be inspired by Kaerpernick's heartfelt story.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.