Lou Gehrig Critical Essays

Frank Graham


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Lou Gehrig is first and foremost a tribute honoring a great individual. Published only one year after Gehrig’s death, the book is accurate in its detail and scope. Graham has interviewed numerous friends, coaches, and teammates to create a very readable firsthand account of Gehrig’s life and of his relationship to baseball. Graham’s portrait of Gehrig is not of a hero, but of a unique and noble figure.

This biography was written for all ages but is especially appropriate for the younger reader, who would find an excellent role model in Gehrig, the quiet and reserved student and athlete. The book does not dwell upon actual baseball games and scores but instead looks more closely at the human relationships that were created by Gehrig’s great abilities on the baseball field. Gehrig is always the gentle giant, ready at a moment’s notice to lend a hand or money to a friend.

Graham’s descriptions of Gehrig’s life are always presented on a positive note. Even when writing about Gehrig’s hitting slumps or about something negative that affected his subject’s life, Graham employs an optimistic tone. This optimism is refreshing, and it maintains an upbeat and quick pace for the young reader. The author only details events that seem to reinforce the book’s major theme: that Gehrig’s life was a “shining legacy of courage.” Graham’s reporting of the facts surrounding the career of Gehrig is as accurate as the interviews...

(The entire section is 429 words.)