Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 9
- Grade: p to 4
- Reading age: 5 to 9
The African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up in a segregated neighborhood of Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States.
Chuck Ealey grew up poor in a racially segregated community that was divided from the rest of town by a set of train tracks, but his mother assured him that he wouldn’t stay in Portsmouth forever. Education was the way out, and a football scholarship was the way to pay for that education. So despite the racist taunts he faced at all the games he played in high school, Chuck maintained a remarkable level of dedication and determination. And when discrimination followed him to university and beyond, Chuck Ealey remained undefeated.
This inspirational story is told by Chuck Ealey’s daughter, author and educator Jael Richardson, with striking and powerful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Matt James.
About the authors
Jael Ealey Richardson is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The book received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award. Excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, are published in the anthology T-Dot Griots. Richardson has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She lives in Brampton where she serves as the Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).
- Commended, Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices List
- Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Children and Teens
- Commended, CBC Best Books of 2016
An excellent addition for sports fans and a great vehicle to spark conversation.
School Library Journal, review
The Stone Thrower is a story of grit, visual and inspirational, in its truest form.
CanLit for LittleCanadians
. . . an inspirational true-life tale that will resonate with dreamers big and small.
Quill & Quire
The Stone ThrowerThe African-American football player Chuck Ealey grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Portsmouth, Ohio. Against all odds, he became an incredible quarterback. But despite his unbeaten record in high school and university, he would never play professional football in the United States.
Chuck Ealey’s story gives readers an important view of overcoming adversity in difficult times as well as paying tribute to the importance of education. When teaching character education, this book highlights the qualities of perseverance and determination. The Stone Thrower also provides a glimpse into segregation in the 1950s and poverty.
Author available for class visits.
Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.
Other titles by Matt James
Great Kids Books by Black Authors
Awesome Anti-Racist Kids' Books
Black History Month
CNF: Essays about Parents
Kids' Books for Black History Month
Diverse Books: Race, Colour, Ethnic Origin
Great CDN Biographies for Kids
Black History Books
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