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For the first time, the remarkable couple depicted in The Blind Side tells their own deeply inspiring story--First came the bestselling book, then the Oscar-nominated movie--the story of Michael Oher and the family who adopted him has become one of the most talked-about true stories of our time. But until now, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy have never told this astonishing tale in their own way and with their own words. For Leigh Anne and Sean, it all begins with family. Leigh Anne, the daughter of a tough-as-nails U. S. Marshal, decided early on that her mission was to raise children who would become "cheerful givers. " Sean, who grew up poor, believed that one day he could provide a home that would be "a place of miracles. " Together, they raised two remarkable children--Collins and Sean Jr. -- who shared their deep Christian faith and their commitment to making a difference. And then one day Leigh Anne met a homeless African-American boy named Michael and decided that her family could be his. She and her husband taught Michael what this book teaches all of us: Everyone has a blind side, but a loving heart always sees a path toward true charity. Michael Oher's improbable transformation could never have happened if Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy had not opened their hearts to him. In this compelling, funny, and profoundly inspiring book, the Tuohys take us on an extraordinary journey of faith and love--and teach us unforgettable lessons about the power of giving.
The emotional, courageous story of an American World-Class bicyclist who is stricken with testicular cancer and his journey back to the peak of his sport - Tour de France winner.
Marla Runyan was nine years old when she was diagnosed with Stargardt's disease, an irreversible form of macular degeneration. With the uneasy but unwavering support of her parents, she refused to let their diagnosis limit her dreams. Despite her severely impaired, ever-worsening vision, Marla rode horseback and learned to play the violin. And she found her true calling in sports. A gifted and natural athlete, Marla began to compete in the unlikeliest event of all: the heptathlon, the grueling women's equivalent of the decathlon, consisting of seven events: the 200-meter dash, high jump, shot put, 100-meter hurdles, long jump, javelin throw, and 800-meter run. In 1996, she astonished the sports world by qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials, in which she broke the American record for the heptathlon 800. It was then that she decided to concentrate on her running. Four years of intense effort paid off: in 2000, she qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by finishing third in the 1500 meters. In Sydney, she placed eighth in the finals and was the top American finisher-the highest women's placing for the United States in the event's history. Not long after her return to the States, she shattered the American indoor record for the 5000 meters. With endearing self-deprecation and surprising wit, Marla reveals what it's like to see the world through her eyes, how it feels to grow up "disabled" in a society where expectations are often based on perceived abilities, and what it means to compete at the world-class level despite the fact that-quite literally, for her-there is no finish line.
"Blind? I think there's no doubt that Marla Runyan can see things much clearer than most of us with 20/20 vision. " - Lance Armstrong <P> Marla Runyan was nine years old when she was diagnosed with Stargardt's disease, an irreversible form of macular degeneration. With the uneasy but unwavering support of her parents, she refused to let her diagnosis limit her dreams. Despite her severely impaired, ever-worsening vision, Marla rode horseback and learned to play the violin. And she found her true calling in sports. A gifted and natural athlete, Marla began to compete in the unlikeliest event of all: the heptathlon, the grueling women's equivalent of the decathlon, consisting of seven events: the 200-meter dash, high jump, shot put, 100-meter hurdles, long jump, javelin throw, and 800-meter run. In 1996, she astonished the sports world by qualifying for the U. S. Olympic Trials and, along the way, set the American record for heptathlon 800. It was then that she decided to concentrate on her running. Four years of intense effort paid off. In 2000, she qualified for the U. S. Olympic team by finishing third in the 1,500 meters. In Sydney, she placed eighth in the finals, the top American finisher - the highest women's placing for the United States in the event's history. With self-deprecation and surprising wit, Marla reveals what it's like to see the world through her eyes, how it feels to grow up "disabled" in a society where expectations are often based on perceived abilities, and what it means to compete at the world-class level despite the fact that - quite literally, for her - there is no finish line.
Sally Jenkins, bestselling co-author ofIt's Not About the Bike,revives a forgotten piece of history inThe Real All Americans. In doing so, she has crafted a truly inspirational story about a Native American football team that is as much about football as Lance Armstrong's book was about a bike. If you'd guess that Yale or Harvard ruled the college gridiron in 1911 and 1912, you'd be wrong. The most popular team belonged to an institution called the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Its story begins with Lt. Col. Richard Henry Pratt, a fierce abolitionist who believed that Native Americans deserved a place in American society. In 1879, Pratt made a treacherous journey to the Dakota Territory to recruit Carlisle's first students. Years later, three students approached Pratt with the notion of forming a football team. Pratt liked the idea, and in less than twenty years the Carlisle football team was defeating their Ivy League opponents and in the process changing the way the game was played. Sally Jenkins gives this story of unlikely champions a breathtaking immediacy. We see the legendary Jim Thorpe kicking a winning field goal, watch an injured Dwight D. Eisenhower limping off the field, and follow the glorious rise of Coach Glenn "Pop" Warner as well as his unexpected fall from grace. The Real All Americansis about the end of a culture and the birth of a game that has thrilled Americans for generations. It is an inspiring reminder of the extraordinary things that can be achieved when we set aside our differences and embrace a common purpose.
New York Times bestselling author Sally Jenkins and distinguished Harvard professor John Stauffer mine a nearly forgotten piece of Civil War history and strike gold in this surprising account of the only Southern county to secede from the Confederacy. The State of Jones is a true story about the South during the Civil War - the realSouth. Not the South that has been mythologized in novels and movies, but an authentic, hardscrabble place where poor men were forced to fight a rich man's war for slavery and cotton. In Jones County, Mississippi, a farmer named Newton Knight led his neighbors, white and black alike, in an insurrection against the Confederacy at the height of the Civil War. Knight's life story mirrors the little-known story of class struggle in the South - and it shatters the image of the Confederacy as a unified front against the Union. This riveting investigative account takes us inside the battle of Corinth, where thousands lost their lives over less than a quarter mile of land, and to the dreadful siege of Vicksburg, presenting a gritty picture of a war in which generals sacrificed thousands through their arrogance and ignorance. Off the battlefield, the Newton Knight story is rich in drama as well. He was a man with two loves: his wife, who was forced to flee her home simply to survive, and an ex-slave named Rachel, who, in effect, became his second wife. It was Rachel who cared for Knight during the war when he was hunted by the Confederates, and, later, when members of the Knight clan sought revenge for the disgrace he had brought upon the family name. Working hand in hand with John Stauffer, distinguished chair and professor of the History of American Civilization at Harvard University, Sally Jenkins has made the leap from preeminent sportswriter to a historical writer endowed with the accuracy, drive, and passion of Doris Kearns Goodwin. The result is Civil War history at its finest.
Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history and bestselling author of Reach for the Summitt and Raise The Roof, tells for the first time her remarkable story of victory and resilience as well as facing down her greatest challenge: early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women's basketball team. For 38 years, she has broken records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She has coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women's Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and has been named Sports Illustrated 'Sportswoman of the Year'. She owes her coaching success to her personal struggles and triumphs. She learned to be tough from her strict, demanding father. Motherhood taught her to balance that rigidity with communication and kindness. She is a role model for the many women she's coached; 74 of her players have become coaches.Pat's life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible brain condition that affects 5 million Americans. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she led the Vols to win their sixteenth SEC championship in March 2012. Pat continues to be a fighter, facing this new challenge the way she's faced every other--with hard work, perseverance, and a sense of humor.
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