I normally don’t do much in the way of book reviews, but I will make an exception with this one. This particular story had such a powerful and positive impact on me that I felt compelled to talk about it and persuade you to buy the book and read it for yourself. A Small Italian Life is not only an inspiring and touching biography, but a powerfully, captivating success story.
There is a lesson in this book for everyone, regardless of your age, background and family. Author, Jimmy Corso, overcame great adversity and disadvantages as a child to become a very successful teacher and role model for society. His book reminds us that true success isn’t measured in terms of money or how famous we become. His book teaches us what it takes to succeed in life at any level. What he calls a “A Small Italian Life” in reality, is a bigger-than-life-lesson for all of us. Jimmy Corso’s story teaches us that it’s not what life gives us that counts, but what we are willing to give of ourselves in life to succeed. Reading this book, I was amazed by how a boy with seemingly so little good fortune maintained such a fierce desire and commitment to succeed. His father was an alcoholic and his mother mentally ill. He and his parents were told by the school teachers that with an IQ of just 70, he would never be able to join the rest of his classmates. He was relegated to special education programs, then put back a couple of grades in later school years. As you read about his struggles with his family and school education, you will wonder how he could ever have a chance to succeed. But, the more you read, the more you will see his incredible commitment to persevere. One of the things which truly impressed me was how despite all of his family problems and negative influences, Jimmy Corso remained such a decent human being. His good character, integrity and work-ethic shines through in his book, from childhood to adulthood. While the book is indeed an inspiration and lesson in life, I don’t want to sell it short, by limiting it to just that. The story is a fascinating and colorful account of Jimmy Corso’s life and it is filled with rich details, characters, plots and history of the times. Once I turned the first page, I didn’t want to put the book down. There is never a dull moment which explains why I finished reading the entire book the weekend I started it.
Though, A Small Italian Life, is not really a book about sports, it provides much of the same joys you might get from a sports story like Rudy, Cinderella Man or the recent, blockbuster hit, Blind Side. Like Jimmy Corso, the heros in these sports stories fought through adversity and overcame tremendous odds to win the battle in the end. When you think of the profound, positive influence on the thousands of children taught by the author of this touching story, you will agree with me that Jimmy Corso is a true, American hero. The book is a story that will continue to teach generations to come.