Review Detail

Hitler's Germany -- an Olympic Perspective
(Updated: June 10, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
The Summer Olympics will take place again in July 2020, and all eyes will turn to Tokyo, Japan as they host the world and spotlight their country and their culture. The United States will send twelve of its best basketball players to compete in the games, and the U.S. will, undoubtedly, be the favorites to take home a gold medal. About six months before the Opening Ceremonies, Andrew Maraniss's new book about the first ever Olympic basketball competition will come out. GAMES OF DECEPTION: THE TRUE STORY OF THE FIRST U.S. OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM AT THE 1936 OLYMPICS IN HITLER'S GERMANY will pique interest in the Olympics for a new generation of basketball fans who may not know about the history of the games, and how young the sport of basketball actually is--not to mention the details of this incredible time in history.

GAMES OF DECEPTION chronicles the fascinating journey of the first United Stated Olympic basketball team. The book starts as the team members are boarding the ship that will take them to Nazi Germany for the 1936 Olympics, but it also highlights the invention of basketball by James Naismith in 1891 and the backgrounds of the teams and players that composed the U.S. team. GAMES OF DECEPTION also examines the politics of that time--as any book set in 1936 must. Some of the lessons learned from the build up to World War II seem particularly timely today, and I'm thankful that Maraniss is putting these lessons out into the world and in a context that young readers can understand.

Reading the book, it's obvious how enthralled the author is with the 1936 Olympic games--and not just the sporting aspect. Maraniss has done thorough research, and as a result he has countless anecdotes about political figures, athletes, and everyday people from that time. Jesse Owens is mentioned, of course, but GAMES OF DECEPTION does a terrific job of shining a spotlight on more obscure Olympians as well as the figures who shaped the games at that time. There were moments during which I was concerned the book would veer too far off course in its wide-ranging exploration of the broader historical subjects, but Maraniss ultimately brought things back around to the basketball team each time, for which I'm thankful--because what an amazing story!

GAMES OF DECEPTION will be an excellent addition to a middle school classroom, and the book can serve as a starting point for curricula revolving around the Olympics, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the intersection of sports and politics. I thought I was well read on all of those topics, and I still managed to learn a lot from this book, so my sincere thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Good Points
Fascinating look at the 1936 Olympics
A great addition to a middle grades classroom
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 4 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A funny, sweet story of unrequited friendship from the creator...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lena and Campbell aren't friends. ...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her...
Prophecy Untold (Shadow Realms book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding out my mother was taken by the demons was...
Sick Kids in Love
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Isabel has one rule: no dating. It’s easier―...
Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Seven hundred years in the future, a powerful alien...
Perfectly Oblivious
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Cameron Bates (Cam) could have almost any girl at...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
4.3 (1)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two...
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures...
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling Divergent and Carve the Mark author Veronica Roth delivers...
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The drowsy Dormouse from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland...
Vicarious
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and the...

Latest Member Reviews

Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
"DOG AND RABBIT is a charming tale of friendship. Told in four parts, the book introduces Dog and then Rabbit...."
 
4.3
"I started out reading an ARC of Symptoms of a Heartbreak, but then I switched to reading a hardcover in..."
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
"If you read the first series, Redefining Me, you got a glimpse at these characters and probably love them just..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
4.3
"I’m going to start out this post by letting it be known by all and sundry that I was provided..."
Sick Kids in Love
 
5.0
"SICK KIDS IN LOVE is a beautiful story about love- as well as invisible illness/disability AND NOBODY DIES! (I do..."
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
 
5.0
"I never wanted to be a superhero as a child, but I wanted to do heroic things. Tristan Strong epitomizes..."
The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World, #1)
 
5.0
"THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD is a compelling and atmospheric YA fantasy/science fiction. In the future, the..."
Conceal, Don't Feel (Twisted Tales, #7)
 
5.0
"If you adored FROZEN, you need to get your hands on this Twisted Tale which reimagines the story if Anna..."
 
4.0
"THE END AND OTHER BEGINNINGS is the latest from DIVERGENT author, Veronica Roth. The novel is comprised of six YA..."
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
"Bernard Pepperlin is the doormouse from Alice in Wonderland. After being forced into a teapot, Bernard climbs out to find..."
The Bookworm Crush
 
5.0
"THE BOOKWORM CRUSH is an absolutely charming romantic comedy with all sorts of booklover homages. Amy McIntyre is @redheadrecs and..."
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
"SCARED LITTLE RABBITS follows Nora (aka Eleanor, Lowercase) as she sets out on a summer camp adventure that resulted in..."
A Constellation of Roses
 
5.0
"A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES is a beautiful story of familial love and healing. Trix has been trying to make her..."
The Squatchicorns: A Delightful Read
 
4.0
"In this chapter book, The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter, the third book in a series about a friendship between a..."
The F Word (Redefining Me book 1)
 
5.0
"'Dating My Best Friend' (former title: 'The F Word') by Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven delves deeply into themes..."
The Cook and the King
 
4.0
"'The Cook and the King' by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by David Roberts, is a cute story that shows how working..."
Santa Mouse
 
4.5
"SANTA MOUSE is a cute rhyme about a mouse who did not have a name but does have a special..."
Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha)
 
5.0
"Pawns by Patrick Hodges is the first book in the Wielders of Arantha series. Complex and creative don’t begin to..."
The Reader
 
5.0
"I devoured The Reader by M.K. Harkins. There’s no other way to describe it. I read it in one sitting..."
Silly Lullaby (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
"Boynton is a hit with toddlers, and this is another charming book that makes it easy to see why. SILLY..."