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"A marvelous addition to the literature of inspirational sports stories." - Booklist (Starred Review) "This remarkable and inspiring story shines." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. "Crossing the Line will not just leave y "A marvelous addition to the literature of inspirational sports stories." - Booklist (Starred Review) "This remarkable and inspiring story shines." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. "Crossing the Line will not just leave you with hope, but also ideas on how to make that hope transferable” (New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore). Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Kareem thought he and his siblings would always be stuck in “The Bottom”, a community and neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence. Riding their bicycles through Philly’s Fairmount Park, Kareem’s brothers discover a barn full of horses. Noticing the brothers’ fascination with her misfit animals, Lezlie Hiner, founder of The Work to Ride stables, offers them their escape: an after school job in exchange for riding lessons. What starts as an accidental discovery turns into a love for horseback riding that leads the Rossers to discovering their passion for polo. Pursuing the sport with determination and discipline, Kareem earns his place among the typically exclusive players in college, becoming part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team—all while struggling to keep his family together. Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever is the story of bonds of brotherhood, family loyalty, the transformative connection between man and horse, and forging a better future that comes from overcoming impossible odds.


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"A marvelous addition to the literature of inspirational sports stories." - Booklist (Starred Review) "This remarkable and inspiring story shines." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. "Crossing the Line will not just leave y "A marvelous addition to the literature of inspirational sports stories." - Booklist (Starred Review) "This remarkable and inspiring story shines." - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) An inspiring memoir of defying the odds from Kareem Rosser, captain of the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. "Crossing the Line will not just leave you with hope, but also ideas on how to make that hope transferable” (New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore). Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Kareem thought he and his siblings would always be stuck in “The Bottom”, a community and neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence. Riding their bicycles through Philly’s Fairmount Park, Kareem’s brothers discover a barn full of horses. Noticing the brothers’ fascination with her misfit animals, Lezlie Hiner, founder of The Work to Ride stables, offers them their escape: an after school job in exchange for riding lessons. What starts as an accidental discovery turns into a love for horseback riding that leads the Rossers to discovering their passion for polo. Pursuing the sport with determination and discipline, Kareem earns his place among the typically exclusive players in college, becoming part of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team—all while struggling to keep his family together. Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever is the story of bonds of brotherhood, family loyalty, the transformative connection between man and horse, and forging a better future that comes from overcoming impossible odds.

30 review for Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers and the Sport That Changed Their Lives Forever

  1. 4 out of 5

    Regina Mastrogiacomo

    Wow, what a book. What an inspiring life from a men who had everything against him as a child and through the inspirational program, “Work to Ride,” learn discipline and the love of polo. And through the love of Polo found a whole world that taught him to strive to be the best and to never give up even when his life was the hardest. I love the affection the whole family had toward one another even when some let them down and I loved the stories of all the horses and how they encouraged the kids Wow, what a book. What an inspiring life from a men who had everything against him as a child and through the inspirational program, “Work to Ride,” learn discipline and the love of polo. And through the love of Polo found a whole world that taught him to strive to be the best and to never give up even when his life was the hardest. I love the affection the whole family had toward one another even when some let them down and I loved the stories of all the horses and how they encouraged the kids that went to the ranch to keep striving to do better. The book is very easy to read and it was hard putting it down when I had to go to sleep. I would love to see this as a documentary. I want to thank St. Martin Press and Netgalley for an advance copy of this wonderful memoir.

  2. 4 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    After finishing this book, I imagined a multiple-choice sports quiz, where one of the questions would be: Kareem Rosser started playing which sport as a child in his violent Philadelphia inner-city neighborhood? A) Football B) Basketball C) Baseball D) Polo. Of course, most anyone who never heard of Mr. Rosser would laugh as soon as they saw “polo”, knowing it could not possible be polo! Only, it was polo. One day, when he was a child growing up in a poor family of six kids, his two older brothe After finishing this book, I imagined a multiple-choice sports quiz, where one of the questions would be: Kareem Rosser started playing which sport as a child in his violent Philadelphia inner-city neighborhood? A) Football B) Basketball C) Baseball D) Polo. Of course, most anyone who never heard of Mr. Rosser would laugh as soon as they saw “polo”, knowing it could not possible be polo! Only, it was polo. One day, when he was a child growing up in a poor family of six kids, his two older brothers discovered The Work To Ride Stables in a nearby park. Founder Lezlie Hiner was giving inner-city kids the chance to ride horses, which would hopefully motivate them to do well in school, stay out of trouble, and have a future that didn’t involve jail or the cemetery. For Kareem Rosser, riding horses not only did all that, but also stopped the panic attacks he was having. He lived in a very violent area, where he said a disagreement with another kid could easily involve a gun. There were no real father figures in his or his sibling’s lives, although he regularly saw his father around the neighborhood, drinking in a field. His mother had a drug problem at times, but still kept the family together, until a kid could no longer be controlled. Horseback riding and polo provided the structure Mr. Rosser, an older brother and a younger brother needed to move forward in life in a constructive manner. Unfortunately, his older brother Bee, a star in the polo world, would quit riding, stop moving forward in life, and ended up going to prison. The incarceration of his two older brothers, as well as his fears of what direction his other siblings might take, weighed heavily on Kareem Rosser. As a teenager, his best friend met a horrid fate, too. Horses and polo gave him something else to focus on, something to excel in, something to dream about, not have nightmares about. The reader learns a lot about polo from this memoir; plus learns a lot about trying to move upward in life, as well as upward in an exclusive type of sport; when many were expecting a downward direction for you, a doomed life one way or another; because of your background and the color of your skin. This is a highly readable, extremely well-written and unique memoir. There’s not an ounce of self-pity or cries of injustice, either. An outstanding, truly heartfelt read. (Note: I received a free e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher or author.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Donna Boyd

    Thank you to #NetGalley, Kareem Rosser and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. Crossing the River by Kareem Rosser is his story of growing up in the projects of Philadelphia and overcoming the odds to become the captain of the first all black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. It is an inspiring story but one that comes with many heartbreaking moments. From the time he was ten, Rosser kne Thank you to #NetGalley, Kareem Rosser and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. Crossing the River by Kareem Rosser is his story of growing up in the projects of Philadelphia and overcoming the odds to become the captain of the first all black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. It is an inspiring story but one that comes with many heartbreaking moments. From the time he was ten, Rosser knew he wanted to go to college and play polo. Thanks to Lezlie Hiner, who founded the Work to Ride stables and introduced him to polo, he was able to fulfill that dream. Hiner offered children an opportunity to escape the violence and poverty of their neighborhoods in exchange for riding lessons and Rosser took advantage of that. In his neighborhood children were more likely to drop out of school and go to jail than they were to finish high school and go to college. Rosser had the determination and the discipline to succeed while he was struggling to keep his family from falling apart. This is a powerful book and I highly recommend it. It should definitely be made into a movie.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Janna M

    Crossing the Line is a peek into a whole world I didn't know existed. I grew up in the country, surrounded by horses; when I briefly moved to a city, there were exactly zero horses that weren't pulling tourist's carriages downtown. But in Philadelphia, not only are there horsemen called the Black Cowboys, there's a little barn with a program called Work to Ride that teaches kids how to play polo! Kareem Rosser is brutally honest about his life growing up in West Philadelphia, but he is never bitt Crossing the Line is a peek into a whole world I didn't know existed. I grew up in the country, surrounded by horses; when I briefly moved to a city, there were exactly zero horses that weren't pulling tourist's carriages downtown. But in Philadelphia, not only are there horsemen called the Black Cowboys, there's a little barn with a program called Work to Ride that teaches kids how to play polo! Kareem Rosser is brutally honest about his life growing up in West Philadelphia, but he is never bitter. He speaks with love and respect of the people in his life, and with awe of the bittersweet circumstances that brought him where he is today. The stories of his younger life with his siblings are tough, but the stories of his years at military school are no easier. He is tough, despite describing his fears; he is strong, despite his personal history of anxiety and panic attacks. This is a story for people who love polo. This is a story for people who love horses. This is a story for people who love underdogs. This is a story for people who are anxious, or caring, or lost, or bold, or hopeful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zena

    Kareem Rosser is a wonderful writer and story-teller. And he plays polo. His memoir is probably the best I’ve read. I stayed up way too late to finish reading this in one sitting because I so much wanted to know how it all turned out. Just excellent.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sawyer Lovett

    I met Kareem at work (sup Venti medicine ball with real honey) and had no idea that this quiet, courteous dude who charmed all my coworkers and customers was a ball and stick rock star and a stellar writer. Just a really solid writer and a great person. I'm really glad I met this dude. This book about polo and trauma, about racism and rising above is as full of joy and brotherhood and ambition as it is about loss and grief. The Philly voice is real in this jawn. Don't sleep on this because you t I met Kareem at work (sup Venti medicine ball with real honey) and had no idea that this quiet, courteous dude who charmed all my coworkers and customers was a ball and stick rock star and a stellar writer. Just a really solid writer and a great person. I'm really glad I met this dude. This book about polo and trauma, about racism and rising above is as full of joy and brotherhood and ambition as it is about loss and grief. The Philly voice is real in this jawn. Don't sleep on this because you think it's about an obscure sport. It's about more than that, and there are a hundred reasons you'll love it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Maum

    I read this in two sittings only because I had to eat dinner in between those two sittings—otherwise, you couldn't tear me away from CROSSING THE LINE. It's a fantastic book, visceral but poised, from an author and an athlete that we all need to watch. Gripping, powerful, highly recommend. I read this in two sittings only because I had to eat dinner in between those two sittings—otherwise, you couldn't tear me away from CROSSING THE LINE. It's a fantastic book, visceral but poised, from an author and an athlete that we all need to watch. Gripping, powerful, highly recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A compelling memoir that I couldn’t put down-read it in 24 hours. Both a beautiful and raw story, and a window into the transformative power of horses.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Morgan (prettylittlebookshelf)

    If you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking, endearing and inspirational memoir about a young Black boy who defies all odds when he discovers a love for horses and distinguishes himself as a top player in the wealthy, white world of Polo and thus finds a way out of poverty then Crossing The Line by Kareem Rosser is perfect for you! Kareem Rosser is now a 27-year-old, college graduate working in finance, and living in Washington Square in Philadelphia. During his undergrad at Colorado State Univ If you’re in the mood for a thought-provoking, endearing and inspirational memoir about a young Black boy who defies all odds when he discovers a love for horses and distinguishes himself as a top player in the wealthy, white world of Polo and thus finds a way out of poverty then Crossing The Line by Kareem Rosser is perfect for you! Kareem Rosser is now a 27-year-old, college graduate working in finance, and living in Washington Square in Philadelphia. During his undergrad at Colorado State University, Kareem led the polo team to a national championship and was named U.S. Polo Association’s Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Player of the Year. These prestigious titles and accomplishments are more than this young Black boy from a poverty-stricken community in Philadelphia could have ever fathomed. Crossing The Line highlights the inequities and inequalities in education, employment, and overall opportunities in disenfranchised communities such as “The Bottom”. There are significant financial insecurities that directly impact the ability to afford food, housing, transportation, and healthcare. In communities where drugs and violence seem like the only way to provide for your family, it is a miracle that Kareem found Work To Ride and excelled at polo. However, his story is not a commonality and that is the problem. As of 2019, African American males made up 16% of the population in the United States with a life expectancy of 69 years. How is it possible that Black men only make up 2.4% of the undergraduate population at Power Five schools, but comprised 55% of the football teams and 56% of the basketball teams? Why do Black males make up 34% of the prison population? Collegiate institutions find unmatched talent in African American males which is beneficial to their overall generation of profits, but if only 2% of college athletes continue on to the professional level, what are these grand institutions doing to prepare Black men for life after sports? What are these institutions doing to ensure that these men don’t return to the drugs and violence they worked so hard to escape?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenefer R

    Memoirs are always my jam. Hearing/reading about other people's life experiences always teaches me something. This one was well written and very engaging. Memoirs are always my jam. Hearing/reading about other people's life experiences always teaches me something. This one was well written and very engaging.

  11. 4 out of 5

    VeeAnn

    Despite the very rough language, I devoured this book. It is hard for me to believe places like The Bottom exist in the world even though they are on the news everyday. I love a great sports story and horses even more but the truly magical part of this book was Kareem. The voice of a young boy in a horrible environment who yearns for hope and better outcomes for himself and his family was truly inspiring. We should all have and support the Work to Ride programs in our neighborhoods.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristian Beverly

    I don’t think I can recommend this book enough. Even if you aren’t into horses, there is still something in this memoir for you. I have a feeling that this is the book I’m going to be telling everyone to read this year.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book is an an instant classic - an underdog, a young poor black kid, who far surpasses anyone's expectations and succeeds as a top notch athlete in an elite sport. I loved it. You will root for each character, unfortunately much of the time you are rooting for them to just survive as much as you are rooting for them to win on the field. It is a sad story of reality - young death, drugs and missed opportunities combined with a feel good story created by an amazing woman who figured out horse This book is an an instant classic - an underdog, a young poor black kid, who far surpasses anyone's expectations and succeeds as a top notch athlete in an elite sport. I loved it. You will root for each character, unfortunately much of the time you are rooting for them to just survive as much as you are rooting for them to win on the field. It is a sad story of reality - young death, drugs and missed opportunities combined with a feel good story created by an amazing woman who figured out horses and polo could change lives. I can't wait to see this as a movie one day. It will be great. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an early release in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara Broad

    "Crossing the Line" by Kareem Rosser is the true story of how a young man from West Philadelphia became one of the leading (horse) polo players in the country. The story of how Rosser accidentally finds the horse barn to his graduation from military academy all highlight how a combination of fate and hard work helped him carve a path into a sport traditionally dominated by white men with high incomes. Rosser simultaneously finds healing and solace in his horses and provides support for his broth "Crossing the Line" by Kareem Rosser is the true story of how a young man from West Philadelphia became one of the leading (horse) polo players in the country. The story of how Rosser accidentally finds the horse barn to his graduation from military academy all highlight how a combination of fate and hard work helped him carve a path into a sport traditionally dominated by white men with high incomes. Rosser simultaneously finds healing and solace in his horses and provides support for his brothers and friends. This is a really good read, and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Such a hard book to talk about. On the one hand it was so inspiring and heartwarming to read about a kid connecting with horses and changing the course of his family's history. But other the other hand, it was so heartbreaking to read about all the people stuck in cycles of poverty, violence, and crime. How gun violence and addict parents are just a normal part of life for kids all over our country. How prison is more likely for those kids than college. And as inspirational as Rosser's story is, Such a hard book to talk about. On the one hand it was so inspiring and heartwarming to read about a kid connecting with horses and changing the course of his family's history. But other the other hand, it was so heartbreaking to read about all the people stuck in cycles of poverty, violence, and crime. How gun violence and addict parents are just a normal part of life for kids all over our country. How prison is more likely for those kids than college. And as inspirational as Rosser's story is, at the end he feels so lost and confused, knowing that everything he did didn't really change anything. His best friend was still shot in her home, his brother still killed on the street, his other brother still in prison, his mama still using. He saved himself, but couldn't save his family. So many mixed emotions in here. I loved reading about inner-city polo. I wasn't completely unfamiliar with the concept of horses in Philly, having encountered a MG book about it before, but I certainly wasn't aware that there were work to play polo teams. I didn't even really know polo existed in America. But Rosser was so ALL IN. I felt, in some ways, to be a kindred spirit with him, because in his passion for polo I recognized my high school self's passion for my own extra-curricular. Of course I was never as good as him. And it's always a joy to read about a master write about their craft. Rosser's story is authentic and meaningful. He has a strong voice in his writing, you truly feel that you get to know him. Not only him, but his friends and family as well. He really brings people and their emotions to life. This was hard for me, reading about his anxiety and panic attacks, because I found the descriptions vivid enough to trigger my own. But I also really appreciated how he normalized those feelings. You can be a big tough DUDE and still have crippling anxiety. And the way he tackled the lack of mental health care for poor kids. I loved this book. Just the right blend of sports memoir, social change commentary, and horse book. The perfect meeting place for 30-year-old Katie and 1o-year-old-at-heart Katie.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Barbee

    I requested this book from Netgalley on a bit of a whim, and wow! What a wonderful surprise it was. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for sharing an e-arc with me! Crossing the Line is a coming-of-age memoir by Kareem Rosser that documents his experience growing up in a West Philadelphia neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence, joining the Work to Ride program the horse stables in Philly’s Fairmont Park, and becoming a member of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship te I requested this book from Netgalley on a bit of a whim, and wow! What a wonderful surprise it was. Thanks to St. Martin's Press for sharing an e-arc with me! Crossing the Line is a coming-of-age memoir by Kareem Rosser that documents his experience growing up in a West Philadelphia neighborhood devastated by poverty and violence, joining the Work to Ride program the horse stables in Philly’s Fairmont Park, and becoming a member of the first all-Black national interscholastic polo championship team. I was immediately drawn to this story because of its Philadelphia setting. Philly is a city that holds a special place in my heart… it is a city with a fierce identity and an unstoppable spirit, but it is also a city with a lot of complex challenges and dire inequality. I appreciated seeing Philly through Rosser’s eyes and learning about his experience growing up there. I was also delighted to discover that there was a horse stable in Fairmont Park and a community program for kids who want to learn to ride! As a self-proclaimed Olympics fanatic, I love a good obscure sports tale. I know absolutely nothing about polo, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying Rosser’s story. Rosser’s writing comes alive when he talks about his horses and his polo matches… and his excitement and passion is infectious, and he does a fantastic job of breaking down the basics of polo without getting too technical or stalling the quick pace of his story. I was also struck by how incredibly emotional this book was. Rosser speaks with so much candor and feeling about the trauma and grief that he has experienced in his life, and about his subsequent PTSD and anxiety. But Rosser’s story is also one of passion, determination, purpose, belonging, and triumph… and I am so grateful that he was willing to share it with the world. . . . CW/TW - murder, death of a child

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Crossing the Line by Kareem Rosser ; narrated by Landon Woodson. This is a memoir of Kareem Rosser who grew up in a West Philadelphia neighborhood that was known for its poverty and violence. He and his siblings became interested in the nearby Work to Ride stables. Its founder, Lezlie Hiner, offered them riding lessons in exchange for help with taking care of the horses. The Rosser family found that they loved horses. While some siblings found only a time of solace at the stables but later Crossing the Line by Kareem Rosser ; narrated by Landon Woodson. This is a memoir of Kareem Rosser who grew up in a West Philadelphia neighborhood that was known for its poverty and violence. He and his siblings became interested in the nearby Work to Ride stables. Its founder, Lezlie Hiner, offered them riding lessons in exchange for help with taking care of the horses. The Rosser family found that they loved horses. While some siblings found only a time of solace at the stables but later fell to other temptations in “The Bottom”, as their neighborhood was called, Kareem and a younger brother came to pursue polo there. It led to a better school and competitions until along with a close friend they became the first all-black squad to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship. The story covers the time from discovering the stables as a child through the championship win along with an epilogue looking into the future accomplishments of its main characters. It is very much a story of family, and although it was often broken, they cared very much for each other and wanted the best for each one, even though they often could do nothing to help that to happen. It is smattered with foul language as you might hear in their neighborhood or in a military school, in case there are those who want to know that sort of thing. The narrator did a fine job, and I felt he WAS Kareem. I enjoyed the story very much, and I am more a novel-reading kind of gal. I felt for him, his friends, and his family. I wanted them to succeed and hope they eventually see the realization of their family dream. So thankful for Lezlie Hiner and how she has helped so many kids from that neighborhood.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tanya Chesnell

    Crossing the Line is an absolutely incredible memoir of perseverance, devotion, and love. It was an absolute honor to be able to read Kareem's story, and to share in the hardships and heartbreaks, glory and successes of his life within the pages of this book. I cannot recommend this book enough to not only polo fans, and horse lovers, but to EVERYONE. I am not typically a fan of non-fiction, but this book touched me in ways I can't quite put into words. It was a page-turner, and a tear-jerker, a Crossing the Line is an absolutely incredible memoir of perseverance, devotion, and love. It was an absolute honor to be able to read Kareem's story, and to share in the hardships and heartbreaks, glory and successes of his life within the pages of this book. I cannot recommend this book enough to not only polo fans, and horse lovers, but to EVERYONE. I am not typically a fan of non-fiction, but this book touched me in ways I can't quite put into words. It was a page-turner, and a tear-jerker, and it opened my eyes to a version of a world I never really truly understood. I have been impressed and have loved the concept of the Work to Ride program since I heard of it, but I'm filled with wonder at the power it has to help kids escape The Bottom in Philadelphia, and how much importance it brings to the lives of underprivileged youth in Philadelphia. It is an incredible program that I hope gets more attention after this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeimy

    You tell me the book is going to be about a fearless team of brothers: I want the book to be a bout a fearless group of brothers. Instead Rosser offers an autobiography that shows how polo served as his North Star helping to keep his end goal in sight and offering him the mindset to help him reach it. Yes, his brothers are an important part of his life, but they are absent for what feels like long stretches of the book. I wish the book had offered a bit of Lezlie Hiner's backstory. The woman was You tell me the book is going to be about a fearless team of brothers: I want the book to be a bout a fearless group of brothers. Instead Rosser offers an autobiography that shows how polo served as his North Star helping to keep his end goal in sight and offering him the mindset to help him reach it. Yes, his brothers are an important part of his life, but they are absent for what feels like long stretches of the book. I wish the book had offered a bit of Lezlie Hiner's backstory. The woman was like a mother to Rosser and his siblings and definitely an emotional anchor to Rosser once he left West Philly and yet readers learn less about her life than we do about Rosser's mother. The book is based on the author's life. Life is not perfect; it is messy and does not offer a Hollywood ending, but the book still had too many lose ends for my taste.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Briseno

    Read this in about 2 hours. As a life long horse person and former college polo player, I loved the intertwined descriptions of the barn life, the power of healing that horses bring to the soul and also the weaving in of the rules of the game into the storyline. I had heard of Work to Ride many years ago and wow, what an incredible program. I appreciated the reality that not everyone is magically saved by opportunity when trying to escape such difficulties in surroundings, but also what an incre Read this in about 2 hours. As a life long horse person and former college polo player, I loved the intertwined descriptions of the barn life, the power of healing that horses bring to the soul and also the weaving in of the rules of the game into the storyline. I had heard of Work to Ride many years ago and wow, what an incredible program. I appreciated the reality that not everyone is magically saved by opportunity when trying to escape such difficulties in surroundings, but also what an incredible person Kareem is for all that he has accomplished. I hope this book serves to bring more awareness to not only Work to Ride, but also the sport of polo and it's current lack of accessibility for many. Everyone should get a chance to experience the joy of horses and the sport at least once in their life time, no matter where they come from.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    What an amazing and inspirational book. I binge-read it in two days. As a horseback rider (though not a polo player), I could definitely relate to the love of, and calming effects of, barns and horses. But Kareem’s story, and that of his family, is incredible. I know how important it is for kids from these backgrounds to have ONE stable adult in their lives. Lezlie was definitely that stabilizer for these kids. But you can’t underestimate the obstacles that Kareem and his brother had to overcome What an amazing and inspirational book. I binge-read it in two days. As a horseback rider (though not a polo player), I could definitely relate to the love of, and calming effects of, barns and horses. But Kareem’s story, and that of his family, is incredible. I know how important it is for kids from these backgrounds to have ONE stable adult in their lives. Lezlie was definitely that stabilizer for these kids. But you can’t underestimate the obstacles that Kareem and his brother had to overcome to succeed. Fifty percent of the sale proceeds from this book are going to support the riding program that saved Kareem. I have sent copies to all my family and friends. I hope everyone else will do what they can also to support Work to Ride.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Frasor

    An enjoyable and inspirational memoir about Kareem Rosser, a black youth who grew up in The Bottom, a Philadelphia neighborhood, who pulled himself out of poverty and violence through the elite white man’s sport of polo. You don’t need any knowledge of the game of polo to become invested in the inner city life of Kareem, his family, and his neighborhood. The reader learns about his hardships, his weaknesses, his strengths, and successes as he discovers “....it had never been about beating the sys An enjoyable and inspirational memoir about Kareem Rosser, a black youth who grew up in The Bottom, a Philadelphia neighborhood, who pulled himself out of poverty and violence through the elite white man’s sport of polo. You don’t need any knowledge of the game of polo to become invested in the inner city life of Kareem, his family, and his neighborhood. The reader learns about his hardships, his weaknesses, his strengths, and successes as he discovers “....it had never been about beating the system; it was all about figuring out how to play the game.” Kudos to Lezlie Hiner, founder of the Work to Ride stables where Kareem fell in love with horses and the sport of polo. It’s people like her that need to be recognized as they offer positive opportunities for change.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cris

    I loved this book for so many reasons. First and foremost, the horses. Horses have always healed my soul since I was child. I’ve had the honor of volunteering alongside therapy horses and seen firsthand how they are used to strengthen and heal a variety of issues. Honestly I thought this book was going to have taken place in a far away land not right here in the United States close to my home. I never knew anything about polo before reading this. I love this book for the grit and honesty from whic I loved this book for so many reasons. First and foremost, the horses. Horses have always healed my soul since I was child. I’ve had the honor of volunteering alongside therapy horses and seen firsthand how they are used to strengthen and heal a variety of issues. Honestly I thought this book was going to have taken place in a far away land not right here in the United States close to my home. I never knew anything about polo before reading this. I love this book for the grit and honesty from which it’s told. I am thrilled that Kareem is giving back and ensuring “The Barn” will continue to be viable for future generations. I’m in awe of the tenacity and courage of all in the story, and how hard they worked to achieve their dreams! Bravo! Thank you for sharing your story!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Fully understand why this got great reviews; think it would make for good book club fodder, wish I'd read it in a group. I got it from the Libro.Fm educators ARCs for free, thinking 'I'm interested in kids and horses but polo??' Y'all this book almost has me interested in polo! Kareem shares a lot of himself and his family life - I appreciate that this memoir is so much more than a stereotypical "sports saved my life" story. I especially loved K's inclusion of and discussion about his mental hea Fully understand why this got great reviews; think it would make for good book club fodder, wish I'd read it in a group. I got it from the Libro.Fm educators ARCs for free, thinking 'I'm interested in kids and horses but polo??' Y'all this book almost has me interested in polo! Kareem shares a lot of himself and his family life - I appreciate that this memoir is so much more than a stereotypical "sports saved my life" story. I especially loved K's inclusion of and discussion about his mental health. As much a story of survival, compassion, and fierce love as it is a story of kids, horses, and polo. The audiobook is good; not read by the author for those who care about that.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    5 Stars! (Maybe I’m partial because I was raised in Philly) I Enjoyed his story immensely! Please watch Kareem Rosser’s interviews. https://www.today.com/video/kareem-ro... https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs-this-mo... 5 Stars! (Maybe I’m partial because I was raised in Philly) I Enjoyed his story immensely! Please watch Kareem Rosser’s interviews. https://www.today.com/video/kareem-ro... https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs-this-mo...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Smith

    I think this book reminds us in 2020 that there are still plenty of children trying to find their way out of their circumstances, they just need a way . This book was written with such detail & sincerity you are brought into the lives of these boys and their community in West Philly and understand their odds !! It’s captivating and encouraging, there are good people out there making sacrifices for others , and with commitment and HARD work you can make it out!! Who would have thought Polo !!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a very wonderful book. Kareem and his brothers thought they would be always live in poverty and violence in West Philadelphia. But a wonderful thing happened. They were riding their bikes past a park and they saw a barn full of horses. The owner noticed they liked the horses and she offered them a job, so they took riding lessons. They then discovered they loved polo. Kareem went on play polo and became part of the all-black national polo team. I really loved this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Great read. Kareem is a really honest, interesting, determined person and a smooth, introspective writer. I have zero interest in polo (or horses for that matter) but this was a really inspiring story about how the sport transformed an inner city kid’s life. It was a great journey to go on with this family.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I loved this book! Such a fascinating story. I wish I lived in Philly so I could visit Work to Ride. Great for sports fans and those like me, who just love an inspirational story like Kareem’s. There is quite a bit of language, but upper middle school and high school students would enjoy the story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dulany Noble

    Put this book on your list of must reads. The book reads like a novel and you won't want to put it down. It is tough to read about what these kids went through on the streets of Philadelphia and what they had to do to survive. A woman with a stable in the inner city with horses and polo saved some of their lives. Kareem is an inspiration! Put this book on your list of must reads. The book reads like a novel and you won't want to put it down. It is tough to read about what these kids went through on the streets of Philadelphia and what they had to do to survive. A woman with a stable in the inner city with horses and polo saved some of their lives. Kareem is an inspiration!

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