Wings of an Eagle: The Gold Medal Dreams of Billy Mills

by Billy Mills (Author) S D Nelson (Illustrator)

Wings of an Eagle: The Gold Medal Dreams of Billy Mills
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Just in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics, here is a dramatic and inspiring autobiographical tale of overcoming odds by Native American gold medalist Billy Mills, with stunning illustrations by acclaimed Lakota artist SD Nelson.

Billy Mills was once an orphan on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation. But before his father was called to the ancestors, he told Billy how to conquer his suffering: You have broken wings, son. You have to dig deeper, below the anger, the hurt, the self-pity. The pursuit of a dream will heal you.

Despite poverty, racism, and severe health challenges, Billy raced toward his goal of becoming an Olympic athlete, inspired by his indigenous ancestors who stood strong when the odds were against them. Though at times he felt like his wings were clipped--a lone bird falling from the sky--he adapted and overcame, finally earning his place at the 1964 Olympics.

This autobiographical tale of Billy Mills's awe-inspiring flight to a record-breaking gold medal, breathtakingly illustrated by award-winning Lakota artist SD Nelson, is a soaring testament to Billy's legacy and the Lakota prayer: we are all related.

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A strong, stirring tale of perseverance.

Review quotes

 
Billy Mills
Billy Mills is an Olympic gold medalist, author, and cofounder of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a nonprofit organization that supports the critical needs of Native communities. A member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, he grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation and now travels around the world inspiring audiences to embrace unity through diversity while learning from historical injustices. He lives near Sacramento, California.

Donna Janell Bowman is an award-winning author of books for young readers, including Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness and Abraham Lincoln's Dueling Words. Donna holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing, she enjoys speaking at schools, coaching other writers, and learning from inspiring people. She lives near Austin, Texas.

S. D. Nelson, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the Dakotas, is the author and illustrator of inspiring children's books, such as Black Elk's Vision and Grandma's Tipi. Honors include an American Indian Library Association award and a Spur Award from Western Writers of America. He is a cofounder of Read at Home, encouraging early literacy among Indigenous children. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780316373487
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
July 02, 2024
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV000000 - Juvenile Fiction | General
Library of Congress categories
United States
Oglala Indians
Olympic athletes
Long-distance runners
Mills, Billy

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