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Summary: In the spring of 2004, Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. He came within a heartbeat of winning Belmont Stakes and the ultimate prize, the Triple Crown. His prowess on the track made him a hero among horse racing aficionados. Smarty Jones’ success was the result of hard work, dedication, and “can do” attitude to which every team member was committed. Thisi s a story that captures a piece of horseracing history.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read youreself: 10 to 12
Adult Reader Reaction: Smarty Jones became a symbol of national pride at a time when America was hurting. Having Smarty serve as narrator humanizes him and makes the story interesting and enjoyable.
Pros: This is an enjoyable way to read about US horseracing history. Smarty Jones shares some thoughts and observations about his amazing accomplishments on and off the race track. It is an enjoyable and informative read.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. The book is an enjoyable, informative read and wholesome, feel-good story. It will be a hit for young horse lovers, and would make a welcome birthday gift or stocking stuffer for them.
Educational Themes: Smarty Jones, in telling his story, emphasizes that hard work, dedication, and a talented support team, are essential ingredients in attaining success. This is a nice parallel for discussions with "human" athletes.