Twice as Good : The Story of William Powell and Clearview, the Only Golf Course Designed, Built, and Owned by an African American
by Michelson, Richard; Velasquez, Eric (ILT)

Recounts the life of William Powell, an African American golfer discriminated against because of his race, and how his perseverance and spirit helped him rise from a caddy to the first African American owner of a public golf course.

William Powell fell in love with golf as a young boy in Canton, Ohio, in the 1930s, but as an African American, there were no courses on which he was allowed to play. That changed during WWII, when Powell found golf courses in England open to all races. Back in the U.S. after the war-and still largely banned from the game-he vowed to design and build his own course, a true "public" links open to all. Clearview Golf Club opened in 1946 in Canton and remains the only course in the country owned by an African American (Powell's children are now in charge). Michelson's crisp telling of this genuinely inspirational story drives home the point that, in order to realize his dream, Powell needed to be "twice as good" as his white counterparts. Award-winning illustrator Velasquez bathes his evocative art in lush greens, the perfect visual symbol of Powell's belief that, at Clearview, "the only color that matters is the color of the greens." This remarkable story of the man "who made the fairways fair" is too little known, even among followers of golf history. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Despite growing up in a community that was racially segregated, William Powell persisted in playing the game he loved, golf. Young Willie could only caddy on the golf course near his Ohio home, although one white man did let him play. Returning home after World War II from England, where he golfed as much as possible, William was barred from the local greens, denied membership in the whites-only (until 1961) PGA and turned down for financing from the GI loan program. Nonetheless, he found a piece of land where, with private financing, he designed and built the first integrated golf course in the United States. Clearview opened in 1948 and is now a National Historic Site. When his daughter was born, he designed a golf club just for her. Michelson, the author of As Good As Anybody (illustrated by Raul Colón, 2008), has written a straight-forward narrative spiced throughout with inspirational thoughts. At one point, Willie's principal tells him that in order to succeed he must be "twice as good" as the white children. Velasquez, the award-winning illustrator, paints his figures in linear poses that are unfortunately more static than active. A useful title in which young readers can gain an appreciation of a ground-breaking African-American sports figure. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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