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You all remember the movie Rudy, don’t you? You haven’t watched it? Well, hurry on down to your local Redbox or look it up on Hulu and watch the movie! It’s inspirational(and we all could use more of that, couldn’t we?).

Rudy the book actually came after Rudy the movie which is an unusual circumstance and one that puts those of us who love books more than movies at a disadvantage! This book, however, is good because it tells the rest of Rudy’s story.

Rudy was raised in Joliet Illinois in a large Catholic family (14 children!) in the 1950’s. Struggling through school due to an undiagnosed learning disability, Rudy quickly found sports to be an outlet for his frustrations and feelings of failure. Throughout his school years, Rudy was constantly told that college was simply not to be considered because he “wasn’t very smart.” His father worked three and four jobs to make ends meet so going to college seemed as unattainable as going to the moon.

Yet, Rudy’s story is inspirational because, not only did he eventually get into college but he became a student at Notre Dame the college that was the pinnacle of accomplishment for a poor Catholic boy from a small town). Yet, Rudy accomplished one more unattainable goal; short, small Rudy made the Notre Dame football team and actually got to play in the last few seconds of their final game of the season!

This is the story of a kid who struggled and fought and focused and dreamed and did the impossible; acquired a top notch education and became a member of an acclaimed football team even though he wasn’t college sports material.

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger recounts his early years in the 700 square foot home with his many siblings and his hardworking parents. He remembers those pivotal moments in his childhood; the first time he wanted something and was able to get it, the first time he realized that the world was bigger than the two to three miles of his neighborhood, his church and his home…the first time he began to dream.

Rudy’s memories are bedrock clear and honest. He speaks to anyone who has struggled to accomplish anything. He speaks to the underdog, the failure, the struggler. For those of you who have a struggling learner, this book would be a wonderful book to read aloud to them.

I got this book for free for review purposes from Thomas Nelson publishers.

Rudy can be found in bookstores everywhere.