Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Twice as Good

Twice as Good

Richard Michelson
Illustrator:  Eric Velasquez 
Historical Fiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Sleeping Bear Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-1585364664

One day Willie Powell went to the local golf course and he asked one of the golfers if he would teach Willie how to play the game. The man told Willie that “your kind is not welcome here,” and Willie left. This was not the first time Willie had been made to feel inferior, and he knew that it would not be the last. After all, he was a Negro and most people at the time did not think that Negros deserved to have the same rights as white people.

   Willie wasn’t willing to give up on his dream to learn how to play golf, so he went back to the golf course and the same man who had spoken to him the first time told Willie that he could caddy. At least, a caddy, Willie would be able to learn the basic rules of the game. Willie knew that whatever he did, he had to be twice as good as other people, and so he worked hard, caddying for the members of the golf club in his spare time.

   One day Willie’s mother’s employer, Dr. Casey, invited Willie to play golf with him. When they got to the course, Willie was ready to caddy for the doctor, but instead he was invited to play using a set of clubs that the doctor gave him. This was the beginning of Willie’s life-long passion for golf, a passion that would drive him to do something that had never been done before.

   In this excellent historical fiction picture book, the author pays tribute to a man who had a dream and who pursued that dream against great odds. William Powell, being an African American, always had to work harder than his white contemporaries. Working twice as hard as everyone else was the only way he could succeed, and succeed he did.