Beating the Odds
A Teen Guide to 75 Superstars Who Overcame Adversity
by Mary Ellen Snodgrass
August 2008, 368pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34564-7
$91, £70, 80€, A125
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34565-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Alphabetically arranged entries overview the troubles and triumphs of 75 widely known individuals from a range of backgrounds and professions.

Many famous people have overcome difficult circumstances and gone on to become successful in their fields. This book profiles the lives of 75 courageous and persistent people who have triumphed over adversity. These individuals have conquered a range of problems, including physical, psychological, social, and economic handicaps. Individuals profiled come from a range of professions and reflect battles against religious prejudice, medical conditions, eating disorders, poverty, and other social ills. Among the people profiled are Mitch Albom, Hillary Clinton, Magic Johnson, Stephen King, Greg Louganis, and Henry Winkler. The volume includes an historical timeline, a list of relevant films documenting the achievements of these superstars, and a general bibliography.

Some of the most successful people in our society have overcome great odds in order to achieve their dreams. Through courage and persistence, they have triumphed over a range of adversities and serve as models for students faced with similar circumstances. This book profiles the struggles and accomplishments of 75 such individuals from all walks of life.

Each entry highlights the physical, psychological, social, or economic struggles of the person and discusses how the person won their battle against adversity. Among the individuals profiled are: Mitch Albom, Roseanne Barr, Sandra Cisneros, Hillary Clinton, Pat Conroy, Michael J. Fox, Magic Johnson, Stephen King, Greg Louganis, Jessica Lynch, Colin Powell, Salman Rushdie, Martin Sheen, Henry Winkler, and many more. The volume closes with an historical timeline, a list of films related to the achievements of these superstars, and a general bibliography. In addition to inspiring students to succeed against all odds, the book promotes respect for diversity and explores a host of social issues related to religious prejudice, eating disorders, medical conditions, poverty, and other concerns.


"Adolescent students often express a sense of isolation in their attempts to overcome personal adversity. These young readers will find solace in the accounts presented in this volume, a collection of 75 biographies that share the stories of other people who have overcome their own struggles and attained success. Teachers and students can use entries as extensions or starting points as they explore the concepts of personal adversity, struggle and triumph. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries."—Doug's Student Reference Room, January 1, 2009
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