Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Football

Choice of Colours

The pioneering African-American quarterbacks who changed the face of football

by (author) John Danakas

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2011
Football, 20th Century, Maturing
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2007
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2007
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 17
  • Grade: 7 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 17


Until a mere generation ago, black football players were largely unproven as quarterbacks since they were excluded from a position that demanded strategic thinking instead of brute force. So, talented players headed north, rising to stardom in Canada. John Danakas profiles the pioneering athletes who donned new team colours and changed their sport.

[Fry Reading Level - 4.8

About the author

JOHN DANAKAS is the author of five children`s novels and one non-fiction book for young adults. His book Hockey Night in Transcona was an Ontario Silver Birch Award finalist. Curve Ball, Lizzie`s Soccer Showdown, and Hockey Heroes are all Canadian Children`s Book Centre Our Choice selections. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

John Danakas' profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Commended, Year's Best - Resource Links

Editorial Reviews

Danakas ... creates a very readable work that will appeal to sports enthusiasts and young social scientists.

Canadian Review of Materials, Vol. XIV, Number 12

This book would make a great addition to a classroom/school library. The audience will empathize with the struggle these great athletes had to overcome to reach their dream. They will realize that dreams can come true if you are determined and are willing to overcome obstacles.

Resource Links - Volume 13, Number 3

Choice of Colours is a book that will likely appeal to younger football fans, and is a worthy read for older fans as well.

Paw Prints

"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket."

Chinese proverb

And I found the perfect pocketbook --Choice of Colours -- a snappy little 100-page pigskin paperback penned by Winnipeg's John Danakas. The director of public affairs at the University of Manitoba has crafted a children's book about "another era" in football -an era 50 years ago when "the NFL wasn't black quarterback friendly."

This captivating children's book is a gem for big kids, too.


Hamilton Spectator

Librarian Reviews

Choice of Colours: The Pioneering African-American Quarterbacks Who Changed the Face of Football (Recordbooks)

Many of today’s best American quarterbacks are Black. But 50 years ago, there weren’t any Black quarterbacks in the NFL, and talented American players headed north to play the sport they loved. Many rose to stardom in Canada but longed for progress back home. Contains black-and-white photos, football basics and glossary.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by John Danakas