I Beat the Odds
From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond
By Michael Oher
(Gotham, Hardcover, 9781592406128, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
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The football star made famous in the hit film The Blind Side reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth.
Michael Oher is the young man at the center of the true story depicted in The Blind Side movie (and book) that swept up awards and accolades. Though the odds were heavily stacked against him, Michael had a burning desire deep within his soul to break out of the Memphis inner-city ghetto and into a world of opportunity. While many people are now familiar with Oher's amazing journey, this is the first time he shares his account of his story in his own words, revealing his thoughts and feelings with details that only he knows, and offering his point of view on how anyone can achieve a better life.
Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had for himself in order to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family for so long. He recounts poignant stories growing up in the projects and running from child services and foster care over and over again in search of some familiarity. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out of the madness and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. But Oher also knew he would not be successful alone. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams.
Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.
Michael Oher is an American football offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. He played college football at the University of Mississippi for the Ole Miss Rebels. He is best known as the subject of Michael Lewis’s 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and the even more popular 2009 film The Blind Side, in which Michael is portrayed by Quinton Aaron.
Michael Oher's journey from homelessness to football stardom has been the subject of a best-selling book â?? as well as the Academy Award-winning film The Blind Side. Now, Oher hopes to separate real-life fact from movie fiction in his own words. More at NPR.org
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"I'd understand if some people out there felt like another re-telling of the Oher story was flogging a dead horse, but personally, I feel like there's a need for Oher's own opus."
"In a development I actually think is really great, Michael Oher will be publishing his own memoir now that his parents' story, The Blind Side, has been so thoroughly covered. It's long been my position that some of the uncomfortable things about the way that story gets covered are the simple result of the fact that he hasn't chosen to talk very much -- as this article points out, he contributed little in the way of interviews to either the book or the movie -- and I'll be happy to hear what the guy's got to say."
-Linda Holmes, NPR blogger.