Book Review: The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars and Champions

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Although it is not on the New York Times Best Sellers list, the new book The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars and Champions is getting a lot of attention these days in not only Poly, but the whole city of Long Beach. The authors, Mike Guardabascio, a Poly alumni, and Tyler Hendrickson, explore the unique aspects of our historic school from the beginning in 1895 through present day Poly. The book includes sections of early Poly days, how the World Wars affected life at Poly, celebrity alumni features, original traditions created by the school, and more information about Poly I don’t even think our principals know about.
Overall, there is a ton of intriguing information, but I’m not quite sure if ALL of Poly can fit into 191 pages only. Each chapter has small sections like “Football” in the chapter “Poly’s Sports Programs” where it only covers a page and a half. For a high school that is known for our football team with the most drafted NFL players, the section could’ve been a bit longer, more in depth. Perhaps it was a style decision, they want to keep it short and prompt, but it feels to me that the authors just gathered “cool” information and slapped it together to form this book. Now, the grammar errors are even less forgivable.
The book wasn’t all just sloppy facts, I did feel as if the book was a good overview of our school. As they said in an interview on The 562.org, “somebody’s gonna find this and fall in love with Long Beach.” I agree with this, I do believe this book was aimed for an audience that is not familiar with Long Beach or Poly itself, which could have been the whole point of writing it. Furthermore, the interview also made the authors’ love for Poly apparent and a strong inspiration for the production of this book. However, the lack of depth and careless errors made me feel this book did not fully express or reflect their love for Long Beach Poly High School.

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