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Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds
The Sammy Lee Story
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Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds
The Sammy Lee Story

By Paula Yoo
Illustrated by Dom Lee
2005, 29 pages, Hardback.
Book Description from Back Cover
About the Author and Illustrator

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

On a summer day in 1932, twelve-year-old Sammy Lee watched enviously as divers catapulted into the public swimming pool. Sammy desperately wanted to try diving himself, but the Korean American boy-like any person of color-was only allowed to use the pool one day a week.

This discrimination did not weaken Sammy's newfound passion for diving, and soon he began a struggle between his dream of becoming an Olympic champion and his father's wish for him to become a doctor. Over sixteen years Sammy faced numerous challenges, but he overcame them all and fulfilled both his dream and his father's. In 1948 Dr. Sammy Lee dove into Olympic history and became the first Asian American to win a gold medal.

Sammy Lees story of determination and triumph sets an extraordinary example for anyone striving to fulfill a dream. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds will inspire all who read it.

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Background on the Author and Illustrator

Paula Yoo first learned about Sammy Lee while studying the history of Korean Americans. She has worked as a full-time journalist and a writer for television series including The West Wing and Tru Calling. Yoo is also a professional violinist who has taught violin to underprivileged inner-city children. She and her husband live in Los Angeles. This is her first picture book.

Dom Lee's award-winning picture books published by Lee & Low include the groundbreaking Baseball Saved Us, a Parents' Choice Award winner; Heroes, an IRA Teachers' Choices Award selection; and Passage to Freedom, an ALA Notable Children's Book and the recipient of numerous other awards. A native of Seoul, Korea, Lee lives in Demarest, New Jersey, with his wife and their children.

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Most recent revision June 16, 2005