Work With What You Got

ISBN-10: 1536224219
ISBN-13: 9781536224214
Author: Clark, Zion and James S. Hirsch
Interest Level: 9-12
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Date: April 2023

Copyright: 2023

Page Count: 240

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Interest Level

Grades 9-12

Reading Level

Lexile: 980L
Accelerated Reader Level: 6.8
Accelerated Reader Points: 8.0

BISAC Subjects

YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / Family / Orphans & Foster Homes *

YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION / Social Topics / Special Needs *

Elite wheelchair racer and wrestler Zion Clark joins with New York Times best-selling author James S. Hirsch for a stunning memoir-recounting childhood adversity, awe-inspiring perseverance, and self-invention. When a baby named Zion was born in 1997 to an imprisoned, drug-addicted mother, his future seemed bleak. Born without legs due to a rare condition called caudal regression syndrome, Zion was abandoned and shunted to a foster-care system ill-equipped to care for him. In this stirring memoir, readers will follow as he is bounced from home to home, subjected to abuse, neglect, and inconceivable hardship. Somehow, Zion finds supportive angels along the way: his first two foster families, who offer a haven; the wrestling coach who senses his “warrior spirit" and nurtures it; the woman of fierce faith who adopts a seventeen-year-old and cheers his every match. From play-by-play narration of how Zion adapts wrestling moves to defeat able-bodied opponents, wielding phenomenal arm and hand strength, to accounts of his extraordinary work ethic, unflagging optimism, and motivational speaking, this is an inspirational story of courage that will appeal to any athlete who respects determination, any young person facing adversity, and any reader who wants to believe in the human spirit.
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