The Boys in the Boat tells the incredible story of nine boys from the University of Washington who rowed for gold in the 1936 Olympics. It’s an inspiring story that’s almost too good to be true and author Daniel James Brown does an amazing job of telling it. Despite a complicated plot (topics include the University of Washington’s rowing team, the mechanics and psychology of the sport, and Nazi Germany’s Olympic prep to name a few), Brown’s tale remains interesting and compelling from start to finish. While the novel discusses all nine teammates and their coaches, the story centers on likeable and hard-working rower Joe Rantz. Rantz makes for a fascinating main character and provides a lot of emotional charge in this well-researched story. If you enjoyed great nonfiction like Seabiscuit and Unbroken, this is the perfect book for you!
Profanity/Language: 14 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 1 derogatory name; 1 anatomical term.
Violence/Gore: Reports of violence involving brawls, war and the Holocaust; a few violence scenes include a mob, fistfight and being hit on the head with a board; fire and floods destroy property with no casualties; Jews are tortured and a student accidently dies by fire in non-detailed scenes of violent death.
Sex/Nudity: A few sexual references and reported incidents of sexual activity.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of a family member, religious persecution, abandonment, homelessness, poverty, stealing, the Holocaust.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Smoking and drinking frequently occur.