For Kids Who Like Facts: Orbis Pictus Award
Chipmunk Tale

A Quarterback's Mom Helps Out

It was not the first time [Eli] Manning and his mother [Olivia Manning] had bonded over stories. Long before he learned to read defenses, Manning struggled to decipher Dr. Seuss. “I had trouble reading,” he said.

The inadequacy he felt drove him deeper into his shell. “As a child, it’s embarrassing and frustrating,” Manning said. “They call on students to read out loud in class and it’s one of those deals where you’re praying the whole time that they don’t call on you.”

His mother, he said, was influential in helping him improve his reading so he would not have to repeat first grade. “She worked with me and stayed patient,” Manning said. “Her laid-back attitude and her soft Southern drawl helped me keep calm about it. She’s the one who kept telling me it would all work out and it did.”

From "Eli Manning Took Cues from Mother," a profile of the Giants quarterback, in the New York Times, 1/29/08. Written by Karen Crouse.

Go, Giants!


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(My cousin plays for the Panthers now, so I can't go there with you on the Giants thing, sorry.)

Get out! A cousin on the Panthers? That's cool, TadMack.

Somebody should sign up Eli as a reading spokesperson. I admired the fact that he spoke out about his reading struggles.

Awww. I love that he mentioned her Southern drawl.

I thought it was sweet, too, Sara.

Susan, You're right. If Eli were a reading spokesperson, it would go a long way to make kids who are struggling to read feel comfortable and hopeful.

I think it would be great, Vivian. Maybe Jon Scieczka should sign him up to help out!

Yes, Southern drawls *are* calming. Love that.

I know Eli's mother is from Mississippi--I think from Philadelphia (not nearly as big as its namesake!).

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