A Review of "Twice as Good" in School Library Journal
K-Gr 3–For third-grader Willie Powell, the new golf course was a beautiful sight. One day, he approached two white golfers and asked the kinder looking of the men to teach him to play. His reply was, “Son, didn’t anyone ever tell you that your kind is not welcome here?” “Of course, Willie knew he was different. He was the only Negro in his class.” Awhile later he returned to the course and ran into one of the men he’d met earlier. This time he agreed to let Willie carry his clubs. The youngster remembered the words of his principal, “If you are going to get ahead in this world, Willie, you can’t be as good as the white children; you have to be twice as good.” As he caddied and earned a little money, he also studied the game. Later, while in the army, he was stationed in England where “no one seemed to think golf was a game for whites only.” Three years later, he returned to the United States and noticed that his daughter had “the grip of a champion golfer,” and he was determined that one day there would be a course where she could play. In 1948, he opened the Clearview Golf Club in Ohio. Velasquez’s large illustrations, often full spreads, capture the sense of time in soft, pastel shades of green, blue, brown, yellow, and pink. An inspirational story, suitable for Black History Month and for children interested in the game of golf.
—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH