(608)261-9366
(608)261-9366

Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion

Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion
Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion
Price: $12.95
You Might Also Like ...
Check the check boxes next to the additional products that you would like to add to the shopping cart, then click on the "Add to Cart" button above. A check box is not shown if a product requires that you select an option or fill out a field. () indicates a required accessory.
Product Details
By: Bob Kann & Caroline Hoffman

Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion celebrates the life of one of Wisconsin’s most inspirational leaders and activists. Born with an intellectual disability as the result of fetal alcohol syndrome, Cindy Bentley spent much of her childhood at the Southern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled. No one expected her to learn the skills necessary to live on her own. To everyone’s surprise—including her own—she did that and much more.

With the encouragement of a teacher at Southern Center, Cindy realized she had a deep passion for sports—and the discipline to train and compete. She began participating in Special Olympics, and gained confidence as she worked with teammates to earn medals in tennis, track and field, and even snowshoeing.

Chosen as a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics International in 2000, Cindy has had dinner at the White House with two different American presidents, traveled around the world, and given speeches in front of thousands of people.

In these pages, young readers will learn what gives Cindy her champion spirit—and why she gave away five of her gold medals. Today, Cindy is still competing in Special Olympics. She also continues to advocate for people with disabilities, and helped to start People First, a Milwaukee organization that encourages those with disabilities to speak up for their rights.


Paperback: $12.95
102 pages, 60 b/w photos and illus., 7 x 9"
ISBN:9780870204562

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale 

Bob Kann, author of several Badger Biographies, is a well-known storyteller, juggler, and magician who performs at schools, libraries, and festivals throughout the country. He also holds workshops on humor, motivation, creativity, and storytelling. His book "Belle and Bob La Follette: Partners in Politics" won a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award.

Caroline Hoffman, now retired, worked for 20 years for the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities as a policy advocate. She has also lectured in the UW Madison School of Social Work and is coauthor with Bob on a 2009 curriculum on community service projects for youth titled, "It's Our World, Too."

Awards

2011 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Multicultural Non-Fiction Young Adult Category
Silver Medal Winner

2011 Moonbeam Children's Book AwardsBest Book SeriesNon-Fiction Category 

Silver Medal Winner

Praise for Badger Biography Series
This feature article by Karyn Saemann appeared in "The Capital Times" in 2008:

BIG LIFE STORIES FOR LITTLE READERS
BIOS FOR KIDS HONOR PEOPLE WHO MADE WISCONSIN SPECIAL

They changed the face of Wisconsin. Now, their faces are becoming familiar to children around the state.

Since 2005, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has tapped a diverse well of authors to write children's biographies of notable state figures.

Notable doesn't have to mean famous. Some "Badger Biographies Series" subjects, like Green Bay Packers founder Curly Lambeau, are household names. But others, like immigrant Swiss cheese maker Casper Jaggi, are little known yet accomplished extraordinary things.

"We want to have a balance of well-known and not," said Bobbie Malone, director of the society's Office of School Services, whose job is to cultivate potential titles and authors. So far, eight books are out, and more are coming.

"I do love what I do," said Malone, a former first-grade teacher who, when not editing the latest biography or some other society publication, travels around the state showing teachers how to bring Wisconsin history alive.

SO MANY STORIES

"What's not to fall in love with? There are so many interesting stories," mused Malone from her tiny office overlooking UW-Madison's Library Mall.

The authors, too, say they've found inspiration in the stories that, in addition to Lambeau and Jaggi, have so far included Hmong refugee Mai Ya Xiong; escaped African-American slave and Underground Railroad user Caroline Quarlls; the founders of Harley-Davidson motorcycles; Mountain Wolf Woman, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation; the Ringling Brothers of circus fame; and Milwaukee Jew Lizzie Kander, whose "Settlement Cook Book" taught American homemaking to immigrant women and raised money for social causes.

"I think it's fascinating to see how people lived their lives," said Diane Young Holliday, an archaeologist who authored "Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood."

Ultimately, "we want people to fall in love with the past so they value it and connect it to their own lives," Malone said.

Bob Kann, who inked Lizzie Kander's story and is himself a Jew whose mother owned a "Settlement Cook Book," said readers will relate to the tales of hard work and determination.

"It's important to expose kids to people who are exemplary, to show how people accomplished what they accomplished, how they dealt with defeat and to show their resilience in how they bounced back," Kann said.

Of Milwaukee's Jewish immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th Century, Kann said he hoped to show "how difficult their lives were, and how courageous it was for them to come to this country with very few resources."

"There weren't any social service agencies," Kann said. "They were very fortunate to have people like Lizzie Kander who were filling that gap."

FOR YOUNG READERS

Writing for children isn't easy.

Jerry Apps, a veteran writer who with the exception of two titles has spent 35 years crafting adult books, called writing for children "extremely difficult."

Apps adapted both of his Badger Biographies titles, on the Ringling family and Jaggi, from adult books he previously wrote on the same subjects.

"It's boiling down the material in such a way that you get to the essence of it, in a way that communicates to young readers yet doesn't compromise the history," Apps said.

"I wasn't sure if I could explain things at a fourth-grade level," admitted Young Holliday, recalling reservations she had when collaborating with Malone on a publication previous to "Mountain Wolf Woman."

In some cases, it's weighing how to appropriately present the tainted personal lives of memorable people to a target audience of fourth- through eighth-graders, without whitewashing too much truth.

For all his legendary professional success, Curly Lambeau treated people badly and had serious character flaws that included infidelity, said Stuart Stotts, a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan and author of "Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers."

"Curly was a philanderer, but that is not really dealt with in the book," Stotts said. "We didn't feel that was appropriate for 10-year-olds. You say a little bit about how he was divorced three times, and something about his inability to get along with people, but don't go into the details of extramarital affairs."

However, "I think 7- to 10-year-olds are quite capable of understanding that people are complex," Stotts said. "I think at this age they are quite able to recognize that people may have good qualities and bad qualities at the same time. The subtleties of behavior are not at all beyond what they are dealing with in their own social situations."

"I think as a biographer it's our job to make people's character flaws clear if we are aware of them, but not to dwell on them. The purpose of the book is not to bring down Curly Lambeau, but we have to be realistic about who he was."

Similarly tricky adult situations led to Mountain Wolf Woman's story focusing not on her grown-up years, but on her childhood, Malone said.

"You want to make it real but you can't overwhelm young readers with details or information they can't handle," Malone said.