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Publisher's Summary

Two heavy-hitters in children's literature deliver a critically acclaimed, bestselling biographical novel of cultural icon Muhammad Ali. 

"This utterly delightful story about Ali's childhood is a smash hit."—School Library Journal (starred review)

Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius' family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.

Fully authorized by and written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, and vividly brought to life by Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic artwork, Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.

Longlisted for the 2022-2023 Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award, and nominated for the 2021-2022 Black Eyed Susan Book Award!

©2020 Kwame Alexander, James Patterson (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

*A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today's readers. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"The prose and poems reflect Clay's both public bravado and private humbleness as well as his appreciation and respect for family and friends. A knockout!" (Booklist, starred review)

"This utterly delightful story about Ali's childhood is a smash hit. Get this uplifting, informative book onto library shelves and into kid's hands." (School Library Journal, starred review)

What listeners say about Becoming Muhammad Ali

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  • Overall
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Amazing

This book was amazing. It’s tells Ali whole life how much he really wanted to become a boxer. It shows that practice makes almost person. It also shows no one perfect you fail at some thing but succeed at others.

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A Fun, Light Read

This was a fun light read a d I think you’d agree, it Floats Like a Butterfly and Stings Like a Bee!

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Great book

This is aficaly my new favorite book and it's going To be for a long long time

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Phenomenal!

I received this book as a Christmas present, but wasn't sure what to expect. This story of Cassius Clay's boyhood was factual and entertaining, and the Audible production enhanced my reading experience! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Muhammad Ali.