The story about Michael Oher’s rise from rags to riches written by Michael Oher himself with Don Yaeger is based on a true story that inspires people across all ages and racial boundaries. It shows how a white couple Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy took in Michael Oher -a homeless black boy and made him the person he is today,-a top flight league football star. There are so many poor people in the society today, who have various talents but are unable to realize them because of poverty.
Author and Common Theme that ties them together
The theme that comes out strongly in the book is poverty. Because of poverty, everything went berserk for Oher. No one ever cared about his academics at school let alone his physical and emotional well being. Having to live with a drug addicted mother in a poverty-ridden home, Michael received very little education and his kills were not nurtured properly (Michael & Yaegar 35). He grew up in Memphis knowing about poverty only, he had to feed himself and find where to sleep at night. In most of his life, he managed to live with close acquaintances and family who took him in temporarily.
His grades were wanting and this forced him to repeat grades each time (Michael & Yaegar 18). When Michael was only 15 years, he had grown a lot but he was seriously lacking in important skills such as reading. He was big about 6’5 tall and his weight was enormous, more than 300 pounds. His dream of joining a good school was released suddenly when his acquaintances parents wanted to take their son to a first-class school. Michael followed along and the friend’s father, after feeling sorry for him admitted him in a private school alongside his son.
The Tuohy family had a daughter who attended the same school with Michael. On one cold day, Tuohy’s daughter saw witnessed Michael going to a gym with unpleasant clothes. She really felt sorry for him and decided to tell her family about it. The Tuohy’s family felt compassion for Michael and they started to support him at all costs (Michael & Yaegar 132). They believed that he was performing poorly academically because he was homeless and poor. He wasn’t like the rest in academics, his teachers thought that he could not grasp anything in class, except for his science teacher Mrs. Boswell who knew that he learnt in a different way (Michael & Yaegar 131).
The Tuohy family bought lunch for him because the school did not offer free lunch. They treated him like their own son by buying him clothes and even offering him a place to sleep. Like true parents, they encouraged him too and after offered almost everything to him. They finally adopted him. Michael had become more than just a friend to them and they really loved him. From the book we see Sean Tuohy saying that they were accepting him as one of their own (Michael & Yaegar 132).
The adoption brought dramatic changes in his life. Michael strived to improve academically. Michael also discovered that he could play football quite well and so he joined football without hesitation. He stood out in football, his big size, athleticism and speed endeared him among football lovers (Michael & Yaegar, 146). Michael beat all odds in his senior high school to become the best prospect on the offensive line according to an ESPN analyst (Kate & White 1). There are statements to show that Leigh Annie Tuohy encouraged him to excel in sports and also wanted him to be well behaved and be a good man when he grows up.
Leigh Annie Tuohy, his adopted mother promised to accompany Michael in all his sporting competitions to give him maximum support (Michael & Yaegar 148). Leigh Annie Tuohy also was there to give Michael such a motherly advice that only a parent can give. She advised Michael not to engage in premarital sexual affairs because she knew that having a kid before marriage would derail the journey towards a future life for Michael that was already looking bright (Michael & Yaegar 151).
Michael had to put more effort into his games and academic work. He became a hot cake even before he was through with his high school education. Many Universities and colleges approached him with scholarship offers. He chose to go to study at the University of Mississippi. Michael made further strides in life while at University; he excelled both academically and in sports. In fact before he was through with his education, he had already secured a slot in the All American first team (Michael & Yaegar 157).
In summary, the story shows how a poverty-ridden, but talented African-American boy gets help from a well-to-do white family and together they assist him at all costs to realize such heights in life that would otherwise be practically impossible for him to attain alone.
Kate, Mc Carthy & M, White. Real-life Story Behind ‘The Blind Side. New York. Good Morning America. 2009. Print.
Michael, Oher and D, Yaegar. I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blindside, and Beyond. USA. Penguin Group Publication. 2012. Print.