Cross Plains Public Library

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"I Beat the Odds" by Michael Oher

Product Details

Last month our Book-to-Movie event featured the story of NFL player Michael Oher in “The Blind Side.”  After the movie was released, Oher wrote his own book, “I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to ‘The Blind Side’ and Beyond.”  I decided to listen to it on audiobook, although it is also available at the library in paperback, also.  This was a very enlightening story about his childhood and upbringing.  It corrects some of the misconceptions about him that the movie gave, although Oher understands that a story is sensationalized for Hollywood.

 

Oher returns to see Bobbie Spivey, the social worker from Child Protective Services who oversaw the case involving his family.  As a child, Oher saw her as the enemy - the lady who wanted to take him away from his crack-addicted mother and split up his family.   Now, he realizes that she was one of the few people who truly cared about what happened to him and his siblings, and who did what was best for them.  Ms. Spivey remembers Oher after all these years and helps him retrace his childhood.

 

Oher’s book is a testimony to other poverty-stricken children that they can make something of their lives, even with drugs and crime surrounding them on all sides.  Oher was determined to succeed: “Failure was simply not an option for me.” he states.  His eye was always on the prize and he showed remarkable maturity in his childhood decisions. He stressed that success is not measured in dollars or material things, and the reader comes to realize that Oher is funny, intelligent, and compassionate - qualities that were not exhibited in the movie.  Whereas “The Blind Side” movie leaves you with the impression that Oher would never have made it without the generosity of the Tuohy family, Oher’s book makes you believe that he would have been successful anyway, although maybe not in the NFL.

I highly recommend this book if you want the “real story” of Michael Oher. It is available in paperback and audiobook.

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