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  • Michelle Nott

Happy 100th Birthday, Charlie!

Charlie Takes His Shot, written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by John Joven, published by Albert Whitman & Company.


You may all know Jackie Robinson, who broke through the color barrier in Major League Baseball. He and Charlie Luther Sifford eventually became friends and Charlie's story deserves to be just as famous as the one that inspired him. Award-winning author, Nancy Churnin, did a great job telling it as did artist John Joven did illustrating it in Charlie Takes His Shot.


And today, June 2 (1922), is his birthday! He would have been 100 years old. So, I wanted to highlight this inspiring story today for anyone who hasn't already read it...


Charlie loved playing golf. But since he wasn't allowed to play on the golf courses reserved for white people, he became a caddy. Not only did he lug everyone else's cubs around, he was studying exactly how to use them, focusing on the techniques and skills of the other players. Whenever he could, often after dark, Charlie practiced.


One day, Charlie had the chance to play golf with Jackie Robinson! These two athletes became friends. Jackie was encouraging and honest — it wasn't going to be easy for Charlie to break through to the PGA where no other black man had ever played.


Charlie Takes His Shot shows readers how persistence, confidence, luck, and skill can lead someone anywhere they want to go... and inspire others along the away.


The colorful and textured illustrations by John Joven further enhance the emotions and actions throughout the narrative.


Back matter includes an Author's Note and Timeline that each give more details into the life of Charlie Luther Sifford. Finally, the Acknowledgements page offers young readers a glimpse into how many people it takes to write a picture book biography.


Imagine It!


Does someone in this world inspire you? It could be someone you know, someone you wish you knew, or someone who lived long before you were born.


Imagine writing a story about their life. Can you find out who first inspired the person who now inspires you?


Write and/or draw pictures about that relationship.


Imagine whom you might inspire!

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