This week, we’re highlighting The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, by Michael Lewis. To explore Michael Lewis’s book, we sat down with Prestwick House President, Keith Bergstrom, to learn a little more about how this book might be used in the classroom.

What is The Blind Side about? Why would I want to teach it in my classroom?

The Blind Side is a nonfiction book by Michael Lewis that follows two stories—the first is the story of Michael Oher, an underprivileged child with immense physical gifts, who is adopted by a football-crazy family, and the second is the story of how the game of football evolved to value the role of the left tackle, who protects the quarterback’s blind side.

The Blind Side is an interesting book in that it ties together a great human-interest story, economics, and, of course, sports into a single compelling narrative. If your students are struggling to connect with nonfiction in your classes, this might be a good book to grab their interest during the fall football season.

For people who saw the movie, are there any surprises that they might get from reading the book?

The movie really focuses on the personalities of the characters. Thanks to a powerful portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy by Sandra Bullock, the movie might over-emphasize her role in Oher’s story. Also, the movie doesn’t really touch on the story of the game’s evolution, which is a major part of this book.

Would you pair this book with any other texts?

The Blind Side would obviously work well with other sports books, like Michael Lewis’s Moneyball or H. G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights, but it could also be a great introduction to a unit that discusses informational texts on hidden economic influences, like Freakonomics, as well as stories about overcoming poverty and social inequality, like The Other Wes Moore or We Beat the Street.

It might also be interesting to pair this book with news articles on the dangers of concussions to start a classroom discussion on whether football is worth the risk as a path out of poverty.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I just started reading Children of Blood and Bone by Nigerian American novelist Tomi Adeyemi. Using West African traditions and myths, Adeyemi builds a fantasy story that feels both comfortable and unique. I’m only a third of the way through it, but I can see this book becoming a real favorite for teachers who want an action-packed story with a powerful female protagonist that recognizes the rich traditions of Africa.