“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Jimmy the Greatest. Written by Jairo Buitrago and Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood Books c. 2012, 48pp.
Synopsis: This book is about a young boy named Jimmy who lives in an impoverished South American town. Don Apolinar owns a gym in the town and begins training Jimmy and piques his interest in boxing. Jimmy learns about Muhammad Ali and begins to dream of days when he himself might become a famous boxer. As time goes on, Jimmy realizes that he doesn’t need to leave his town for fame; he is content with being a helper and leader right where he is.
Reading Level: 680L
Rationale for Use in the Classroom: This book has a multicultural tie-in because it takes place in a rural South American village and describes a character who makes a realization about his hometown. The digital illustrations also deserve attention as they are unique.
CCSS Connection: This book would work well with CCSS RL2.3: Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges since the main character experiences a major change in his life and responds to it differently than students may predict he would.