Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review: 'I Beat the Odds' by Michael Oher

"The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the home of the just." -- Proverbs 3:33 (NKJV)

"So David said to Saul, 'Who am I, and what is my life or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?'" -- 1 Samuel 18:18 (NKJV)

If you are like me, reading Michael Lewis' book, The Blind Side, made you want to know more about Michael Oher. Or the movie caused the same reaction. This book adds another reason: Michael Oher is someone well worth listening to and learning from.

In this inspiring, practical book, Michael Oher speaks eloquently (with the help of collaborator Don Yaeger) about the odds against a homeless youngster making something of herself or himself, his personal goals while growing up and perspectives on his experiences, his advice for children in the foster care system now because they have been removed from their biological parent or parents, and suggestions for helping out youngsters who need a hand.

I thought that it was even more remarkable than his success that Mr. Oher wanted to candidly share his story as a public service to those who are walking in the path that he knows all too well from painful personal experiences.

Contrary to what some may think (and the book and movie may imply), Michael Oher is a smart, motivated guy who didn't develop interest in school work and gaining relevant study habits until he was in high school. Once he began to understand what he needed and got the right help, he caught up with great speed and success. How many football tackles make the Dean's list in Division I colleges? Well, Mr. Oher did.

I sense that Michael Oher is well on his way to becoming an important leader, someone who can teach us all how to assist and encourage youngsters who started off not with physical handicaps . . . but with neglectful parents as their handicaps.

Bravo, Mr. Oher!

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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