Cover Image: Victory. Stand!

Victory. Stand!

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Member Reviews

Tommie Smith’s graphic memoir is a must have for my middle and high school libraries. It will hold a strong appeal to students who enjoy reading about athletes, but who also care about civil rights. The deep backstory behind Tommie Smith raising his fist in the Olympic podium is so important. The backlash he received is still happening today. It is a reflection of the embedded racism in our culture and society. The book is well written and perfectly supported by the art. This book will be front and center in my graphic novel display. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Victory, Stand! is a fantastic visual and verbal combination and collaboration. I love Derrick and Dawud’s other work and it was great to see them working together in this. Highly recommended reading for youth.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this eARC. Unfortunately, due to formatting, I was unable to read this. It looked like - on both my iPad and iPhone - that the text was jumbled and not in order. Looking forward to reading a hard copy of this when my library purchased it.
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I didn't love everything about this book - the art and the constant referral to god and prayer got on my nerves - but overall, a real solid graphic memoir. Admittedly, this is not a story that I was super familiar with, and I really love that we got way more about the events of Tommie's live leading up to the event than the Olympics themselves.
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In the space of his 19.83 second world-record setting Olympic victory, Dr. Tommie Smith’s graphic memoir takes readers on a journey through 100 years of Black history in America. From Reconstruction to the Civil Rights era, his experience reflects the shared reality of many who descended from enslaved Americans. Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice brings this historical narrative to life with incredibly detailed, visceral art.

Storytelling facilitates learning because stories make facts easier to remember. Young readers will benefit from Dr. Smith’s and Derrick Barnes’ narrative in Victory. Stand! as they gain an introduction to topics including the Great Migration, school integration, and the modern roots of inequality in America.

Dawud Anyabwile brings this story to life through crisp and multifaceted line art. Both major and background characters have distinctive styles that change throughout time and differentiate between race and class in a way that enhances the narrative. The strategic use of varying panel layouts and scenery details encourage readers to slow down and more deeply appreciate the graphic component of this memoir.

Readers of all ages will be fascinated learning more about world-record setting Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith when Victory. Stand! is available this fall.

Reviewer note: Thank you NetGalley and Norton Young Readers for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
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<p>In Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice</a>, Tommie Smith sees running as an opportunity whereas his family initially sees it as a distraction.  But for Tommie, running provides an escape and something to concentrate on despite the tumultuous era.  He also comments that he strove to be faster than his sister who was one of the fastest runners in the area.</p>

<p>When the family leaves the South and settles in Lemoore California, Tommie runs for Lemoore High School and finds success in several meets.  Tommie’s success at Lemoore High earns him a scholarship to San Jose State University.  At SJSU, Tommie sees major success in winning the Track and Field Championship in 1967 and begins to prepare for the Olympics where he knows he’ll have to race against teammate and friend John Carlos.</p>

The Olympics prove to be challenging but Tommie beats his teammate to win gold.  On the podium, Tommie and John Carlos raise their fist in support of worker's rights, equality for Black people everywhere, housing rights, and more.  While many saw it as a show of solidarity, Olympic officials and the majority of Americans saw it as a disrespectful action.</p>

<p>The brutal aftermath of Smith’s journey after the Olympics is portrayed quite well in this book.  Despite his athletic accomplishments, both him and Carlos were not welcomed when they returned home.  The Olympic Committee suspended both runners and the public outcry was hard to ignore.  Smith eventually played briefly for the Cincinnati Bengals and then became the Athletic Director at Oberlin College.</p>

<p>Interspersed with colorful illustrations, Victory. Stand!: Raising My First for Justice</a> is a solid book that nicely sums up Smith’s career and provides context to the famous fist-raising incident at the Olympics.  Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice</a> tells Smith's story on his own terms to a new generation and inspires social action and community work.  It shares Smith’s journey from the son of a farmer to an Olympic athlete and human rights activist that fits right in with readers aged 9-12.    </p>
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The image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raising their fists at the 1968 Summer Olympics, is one that is recognized around the world. However, many of us do not know the story of Tommie Smith's life, nor all of the civil rights work that he contributed to prior to and after the Olympic Games. The graphic novel "Victory. Stand!" is an exceptional work of nonfiction and should be placed beside John Lewis' "March" on school and library bookshelves nationwide.
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For fans of the March series, Victory. Stand! is an honest and breathtaking look into the history of Tommie Smith and Black athletes in America. As a teacher I am very likely to adopt this for my classroom and will be buying copies upon its publication. The characters are easy to connect with and real, and the story of Tommie Smith is essential knowledge for American children today.
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This was so beautifully illustrated and a story that I wish more people knew about. The switch from present day, to his childhood leading up to that point was incredible and it is such an eye opening and important book.
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Powerful story with beautiful art. This book teaches important Black history in a very easy to read format
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the early copy of this book.

First point: I find it very hard to read Graphic Novels on NetGalley. The format doesn't always work on a digital format. With that said, I really liked this book and I know it is going to be popular with my students. I like that it covers topics that will be interesting to a variety of readers.

This is Olympic runner Tommie Smith's memoir co-written with award winning author Derrick Barnes. It highlights his time in the Olympics when he, a gold medal winner in the 200 meter sprint, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, stood up on the winner's podium with raised fists to protest racial discrimination against African Americans. The action set into motion a series of events that would impact their lives forever, and not in a positive way. 

A powerful conversation starter about The Civil Rights Movement and racial injustice as well as peaceful protesting. It will appeal to kids seeking books about justice, sports fans, and fans of graphic novels.
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This book is really beautifully and thoughtfully done and I look forward to seeing it used in curriculum in the future. 
I do think the age range/context for this book needs to be considered— I personally find it difficult to hand a book with as explicit language as this (quite a few racial slurs) off to a middle schooler to read independently, without discussing with them the context it’s being used in here and why it is okay in this text and not okay in other contexts. I think as a whole class or group text, I would be more comfortable using this with younger students, because it would give teachers an opportunity to walk through those issues with students. 
Additionally, I think the ending (particularly the details about Smith’s marriages) was a touch too long; it is definitely important to discuss the fallout of the protest, but I think it could’ve been a bit more concise. 
All that said— I will definitely be recommending this as something that could be included in curriculum for middle grade and ninth grade teachers, especially because it opens up opportunities for further reading (on social protests done by athletes particularly!) that would be relevant and engaging for students.
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This graphic novel was wonderfully done. It shows the struggles, the hurt, the success, and everything in between that Tommie Smith, and other black athletes have gone through. Tommie Smith's story is not a simple one, but it holds so much historical value and shows that one person's stance can make an impact, even if it's not an immediate impact. This will be a wonderful book for future history projects and was a very interesting and enjoyable read.
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A great telling of the story of Tommie Smith and how he became a symbol of the fight against inequality in the United States. The book tells if his roots, his impressive athletics achievements and the consequences of his iconic stand against racial injustice at the Mexico Olympics.
A book which will engage with young people who find books ‘difficult’ and will encourage them on their reading journey.
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#netgalleyarc Loved this book.  I had an understanding about what happened at the Olympics but this was full of background information that I did not know.  I love that more graphic nonfiction stories are coming out and they’re perfect for my students. I’ll definitely be purchasing this for my high school library.
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This has all the feels of John Lewis's story turned into a graphic memoir with the power of making good trouble as Dr. Tommie Smith did specifically with his iconic fist raised at the Olympics, however what the book does in Barnes's capable writing of Smith's life, Anyabwile's fantastic artwork, and Smith's own life on the page is showcase the fight for rights, visibility, and success for Blacks in America.

Smith grew up in a sharecropping family, moved to California where it was state law to send your children to school. From this schooling and with his natural talent, he excelled in academics and sport for which he became an Olympic athlete.

The black and white graphic novel is stylistically engaging, with its focus on the people not necessarily the circumstances with closeups of faces and an importance on the dialogue. It's a riveting story that leaves out what it needs to to focus on the important message and experiences of Smith.
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This is a stunning graphic novel. I'm a huge fan of learning about history through comics. This format allows readers to more fully process past events and genuinely understand their importance and meaning. I had never heard of Tommie Smith before reading this book. The story follows him from his childhood in Texas as a sharecropper's son to through Olympic victory and beyond.

Smith was a brilliant athlete, excelling in football, basketball, and track. Following an injury in college, he decided to focus all his attention on track. He represented America in the 1968 Olympics and won a gold medal in the 200m meter race. However, the Sixties were a decade full of turmoil on the arduous quest for civil rights, and Smith was punished by the Olympic committee for raising his hand in protest during the national anthem.

Be sure to read this book when it releases on September 27th. I will definitely be adding this one to my classroom library and making sure that my school library has a copy too. I'd love to see this book added to social studies curriculums as well because if we don't learn from the past, then we are doomed to repeat it.
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I was given this book as an eARC from the publisher for an honest review.

Like many people, I have seen this iconic image before. However, I do not remember being taught even the athlete’s name let alone his history. 

I love learning about world history. It makes the past come alive when you follow one person’s point of view through time. This book was very fascinating, with its remarkable drawings and layout of Tommie Smith’s story. You learn about his family and his roots. By knowing where he came from you discover his determination and drive. The fire inside that helps him work through pain and suffering. 

The historical timeline written in the pages was very helpful. It referenced many events that I knew of, but linked them together and described the effects they had or in some cases didn’t have on people around the US. I felt sad for Tommie when he can back from the Olympics in acknowledging by others. It felt validating when he did finally get recognized by many organizations including the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
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If you are a fan of John Lewis’ March graphic novel series, then you want to run, not walk to check out Victory. Stand!, the story of Tommie Smith. I just finished reading the arc of this book and I learned so much from this autobiographical graphic novel. It gave me a lot more context for the iconic image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos that I looked up to as a young track runner in high school. 

It tells his life story that begins in rural Texas and continues in California. I learned about his life, athletic interests and abilities and his connection to the Civil Rights Movement. Definitely an intriguing autobiography that gives you  both the background that led to his stance on the Olympic podium and the aftermath of the repercussions he dealt with as a result of his choice to stand up and make the plight of Black people in the U.S. visible to the world.
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ARC provided by TvS Media Group 

If you've read John Lewis' March trilogy, you know that graphic novels can be a great way to introduce tough historical events to young readers. The visuals are especially striking when showing conditions that young readers have never seen; the dirt floors of the Smith's house, the fields in which they worked, and the clothes that they wore are all easily understandable when seen in pictures. This seems like a small thing, but my students have trouble understanding that the world wasn't always the way it is right now. Since the resurgence of Civil Rights issues we've seen in the last few years, it's important for young readers to really understand how severe the mistreatment of Blacks was in the 1960s so that they can see there has been some progress made. Otherwise, it's all too easy to give up hope. 

Smith's story is ordinary and remarkable at the same time. Born in 1944, he came from a large family who sharecropped, which meant that even at a young age, he was expected to be in the fields working, and may only have gone to school a few months out of the year. When he was still fairly young, his parents decided to move from Texas to California in hopes of bettering their lives. A truant officers told his parents that the law in California required children to go to school, so Smith was able to hvae this advantage. There was constant, casual racism, and not as many Black students at the schools, but he was still able to not only get an education but to get involved in the sports program. Because he had forward thinking, understanding coaches, he was able to develop into an outstanding all around athlete. 

When he went to college, it was a culture shock. The illustration of his wearing overalls to San Jose University might seem laughable to today's readers, but the difference between city life and country life, even forty years ago, was quite striking. Smith knew that the way he was treated when his family was working on farms wasn't right, but when he got to college, he met other Black people who helped him understand this treatment and develop ways to work against it, which lead to his eventual heroic gesture at the 1968 Olympics.

This was a whole generation after Jackie Robinson's entry into sports in the 1940s, but things had not changed much. Black athletes still had to deal with discrimination, but things were changing. The "Freedom Summer" of 1964 changed the attitude of many, and Dr. Martin Luther King's marches showed the world that treatment of Black people needed to change. Smith was aware of all of these events, and worked as hard on his schoolwork as he did on his athletics so that he would have the tools he needed to get ahead in a world determined to hold him back. 

Readers may be familiar with the iconic picture of Smith and John Carlos on the winners' stand in 1968, but will be riveted by the story of what lead the men to mount their protest in the way that they did, and also by the ramifications of their actions, and how those affected their lives. I hadn't known that Smith had to deal with death threats, or that he taught at Oberlin College, so there was a lot that I learned from this book. 

Barnes' illustrations are perfect for the era; they have a feel of Stan Lee's work, which always stood for equality, and a little bit of a Mad Magazine vibe, which was always on the cutting edge of social commentary in this era. The ARC is in black and white, white seems to fit thematically with the content. The words aren't crowded on the page, as is the case in some graphic nonfiction titles, and Barnes does a great job showing the motion of athletics on the page. 

Readers who loved the graphic novel version of Kwame Alexander's The Crossover and Booked will be enticed to pick this book up, and those interested in Black history will be enthralled. Victory. Stand! is a great book to use to introduce history to reluctant readers, who will no doubt find themselves going down quite a rabbit hole to research the characters and events that they find as they read about Smith's life.
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