It's 1937. America is struggling to get out of the Great Depression and 3 children, Otis, Willie and Hibernia, are about to become friends. They already have a lot in common: they've each lost a loved one, they're all reaching for their dreams and they're a lot like their hero, African American boxer Joe Louis. As their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family and love, the children learn that hope and determination can change their lives forever. In this moving novel, their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the next heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Award-winning and bestselling author Andrea Davis Pinkney masterfully weaves in factual information about Joe Louis and actual radio commentary from his fights, enriching the narrative of this uniquely rendered and beautifully written novel. Bird in a Box was inspired by the author's great-grandfather, Cyclone Williams, a one-time boxing hopeful on whom the character of Willie is based. This novel captures her family's recollections of the night Joe Louis won the title and what it meant to them but it also shows how one victory gave hope to a nationwide community.