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A Sporting Chance Cover.jpg


Written by Lori Alexander

Illustrated by Allan Drummond

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN-10: 1328580792

ISBN-13: 978-1328580795

Telling the inspiring human story behind the creation of the Paralympics, this young readers biography artfully combines archival photos, full-color illustrations, and a riveting narrative to honor the life of Ludwig Guttmann, whose work profoundly changed so many lives. 

Dedicating his life to helping patients labeled “incurables,” Ludwig Guttmann fought for the rights of paraplegics to live a full life. The young doctor believed—and eventually proved—that physical movement is key to healing, a discovery that led him to create the first Paralympic Games. 

Told with moving text and lively illustrations, and featuring the life stories of athletes from the Paralympic Games Ludwig helped create, this story of the man who saved lives through sports will inspire readers of all backgrounds.

New! Discussion Guide for Teachers


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featured on Tucson's KOLD News13

Sports Report.


"Informing, engaging, and important." 

—Kirkus, STARRED Review; read full review HERE

"With clarity and immediacy, Alexander tells a riveting story....Throughout, Alexander conveys the force of Guttmann’s commanding personality as well as his fierce drive and determination not just to heal his patients but to change public perception of disabilities and disabled people."

—The Horn Book Magazine, STARRED Review

"[T]his inspirational biography... highlights the power of sport to motivate and heal while demonstrating how the dedication of one pioneering doctor continues to mean a life-changing difference for many.

—Publishers Weekly; read full review HERE

"This heartwarming biography will appeal to anyone who supports equal rights and disability justice.


"An uplifting biography that spotlights the dedicated physician who saved lives, created the Paralympic Games, and became a pioneer for disability rights.​

—School Library Journal

Period photographs and Drummond’s watercolor illustrations are well balanced to capture the grim reality and uplifting optimism surrounding the mid-twentieth century approach to disabilities. With short chapters, a fluent text, and the timeline, index, bibliography, and notes to support student research, this engaging title will be welcome for in-class and independent reading.”

—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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