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Book Review
Jose B. Gonzalez



Dad, Me, and Muhammad Ali
by Felix Manuel Rodriguez



here is an undeniable charm to this book. First of all, its topic is Muhammad Ali, and who doesn't love any story about this boxing legend?  But there is more to it than that.  It revolves around a nine-year old boy named, Jo-Jo, who is the real star of this book.  In many ways, he is very much like a child his age--he likes to have fun, which can mean being physically active, he likes having idols, and he makes mistakes.  And when he ruins his father's autographed picture of Muhammad Ali, we get a sense of the extent to which a loving child will go to make up for his mistakes.  The autographed picture, after all, holds a special place in his father's heart, for he is one of Ali's greatest fans.


Rodriguez has an undeniable ear for great dialogue, and he has a great sense of what it means to write a children's book.  I have to admit that the book took me back to the days when before boxing became a Pay-Per-View sport, a time when fathers devoted themselves to it.  I can't help but think that young readers will learn quite a bit about that history, while adult readers will reminisce about The Greatest and his memorable contributions to the sport. 


Dad, Me and Muhammad Ali is a true winner, and like one of the legend's boxing matches, it has great rhythm from beginning to end.  There is much to enjoy in this book--from the colorful characters to the narrative itself.  The author skillfully weaves a tale that many will appreciate and love. 




Copyright 2006 design and content by John S. Christie and Jose B. Gonzalez
Copyright 2006 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright 2006 Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, John S. Christie

Last Updated: September 05, 2012