The Blind Side - Michael Lewis

I have not seen this movie and wasn't planning to read the book but our book discussion group at my public library scheduled it so I checked it out.  I loved it.  I generally read fiction but this reads as easily as fiction and was totally engrossing for me.  I had to put aside all the others books I was in the middle of.  Granted, I'm a football fan but even if I weren't I can't imagine I wouldn't have liked this.

This is the story of Michael Oher, a teenager from a very underprivileged background in Memphis who through the right combination of luck and hard work changes his life completely.  He's basically a homeless kid with amazing athletic talent who gets the opportunity to enroll in a fairly prestigious Christian high school and finds the right mentors to help him achieve his potential.  It might sound like a cliche rags-to-riches story but it's not.  The book shows how this took a ton of hard work, love, compassion, money and talent to turn his life around.  It didn't happen easily or overnight.  The evolution of the game of football was also instrumental in Michael being able to achieve what he achieved.  The title refers to the quarterback's blind side which for right-handed quarterbacks is their left side and that's the position Michael was perfectly built to play.  The book is labeled as inspirational and it is.  It's not overtly Christian even though that plays a role but it's inspirational in the fact that a person can change their life with hard work and people can help change other people's lives with dedication, generosity and compassion.  I find it harder to review non-fiction  than fiction so I just have to say thanks to Parsons Public Library for having introducing me to so many great books I wouldn't have tried without the discussion group.