A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team explores the early days of college football, concentrating on one exceptional player. The book is filled with telling anecdotes and illuminating photographs.
Maintaining the language and customs of your ancestors is an important part of life. Even the most talented athletes need to practice diligently. Great things can be accomplished when people work together as a team.
Positive Role Models
Jim Thorpe was not a good student, but he was an incredible athlete and a kind, compassionate human being. He never gave up in the face of adversity.
Violence & Scariness
In its early years, football was an especially violent sport, resulting in a number of player deaths. Thorpe and his teammates were regularly "slugged" by their opponents, often offering punches in return.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Thorpe fell in love with Iva Miller and eventually married her.
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Pop Warner's swearing is presented in cartoon language: "@#$%^!" Jim Thorpe says "hell" one or two times.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pop Warner is a chain-smoker. Jim and his football teammates smoke cigars and occasionally get drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Undefeated is a nonfiction history book by Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb and The Port Chicago 50. It depicts the early days of college football, focusing on Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, coach Glenn "Pop" Warner, and the men who joined them as members of the Carlisle Indians. The game was very violent in its beginnings, and so the book contains scenes of violence, with players seriously injured and even killed. The only strong language is an instance or two of "hell." Pop Warner was a chain-smoker, and Jim Thorpe was drunk on one occasion he later regretted.
Is It Any Good?
Young football fans will be entranced by this thrilling account of gridiron greatness. In its early days, college football was more violent, slower, and the sport primarily of elite East Coast institutions. With an eye for the telling detail, author Steve Sheinkin shows how the game changed thanks to Jim Thorpe, coach Pop Warner, and the Carlisle Indians. These young men never gave up in the face of hardship, and the author takes care to recount their struggles off the field as well as on. Sheinkin celebrates the big-heartedness and physical prowess of Thorpe, but he also shows his flaws, as well as the more obvious ones of Pop Warner.
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Our Editors Recommend
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