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Jimmy the Greatest!

Buitrago, Jairo (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Jimmy the Greatest!


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Baker & Taylor
Inspired by Muhammad Ali, Jimmy starts training to become a boxer, and while his future looks bright, he decides leaving his small town for big matches might not be the best option for him.

Perseus Publishing
Jimmy lives in a small Caribbean town where there's not a whole lot to do. Fortunately though, there is a boxing gym, and one day the owner, Don Apolinar, suggests that Jimmy start training. He also gives Jimmy a cardboard box full of books and newspaper clippings all about Muhammad Ali. Jimmy reads and re-reads as he never has before. He is swept with admiration for Ali who said, "I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was." He starts to feel good, realizing that he doesn't need to have a lot of fancy stuff, that he's a pretty good boxer himself, and that he can look forward to the future. But by the time Don Apolinar has to leave for the big city, Jimmy realizes that he can have a great life running the gym, creating a library, dancing and boxing . . . right where he is.

Jairo Buitrago's simple yet inspiring story is complemented by Rafael Yockteng's funny, expressive illustrations, making this a book that will speak to many young readers.

The Spanish edition, ¡Jimmy, el más grande!, was recently named one of "Los mejores libros del año" (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela's Banco del Libro.


Authors: Buitrago, Jairo
Statement of Responsibility: Jairo Buitrago ; pictures by Rafael Yockteng ; translated by Elisa Amado
Title: Jimmy the greatest!
Publisher: Toronto :, Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press,, 2012
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 22 x 24 cm.
Sold by: Groundwood BooksHouse of Anansi Press
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Report This Apr 24, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

With a careful hand author/illustrator pair Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng have created a book that is an ode to the people who stay in small communities, helping and improving the daily lives of their friends and neighbors. This is a story that folks can relate to, no matter where they live. It’s a paean to the heroes of small town life. Unsung heroes, I have located your book.

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Report This Apr 24, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8

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Report This Apr 24, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jimmy’s fishing village is not particularly big or impressive since “there is usually only one small church and, if you’re lucky, a little gym where you can hit a punching bag, skip rope or box.” Boxing is precisely what Jimmy and all the other kids in the village spend a lot of their time doing, until one day Don Apolinar (who runs the gym) gives Jimmy a box containing books, magazines, and information about a guy named Muhammad Ali. Suddenly Jimmy starts using those glasses he never paid much attention to before and he’s reading everything he can get his hands on. In time, Don Apolinar leaves the village for the big city, but that’s okay. Jimmy stays behind, opening a little library and improving the boxing ring, and making the village a better place.

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Report This Apr 24, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“I’m the champ. Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick, wrestled an alligator and got home in time to make lunch for Gramps.”

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