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Across the River

Written by: Kent Babb
Narrated by: Ryan Vincent Anderson,Kent Babb
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Publisher's Summary

On the west bank of the Mississippi lies the New Orleans neighborhood of Algiers. 

Short on hope but big on dreams, its mostly poor and marginalized residents find joy on Friday nights when the Cougars of Edna Karr High School take the field. For years, this football program has brought glory to Algiers, winning three consecutive state championships and sending dozens of young men to college on football scholarships.

Although he is preparing for a fourth title, Head Coach Brice Brown is focused on something else: keeping his players alive. An epidemic of gun violence plagues New Orleans and its surrounding communities and has claimed many innocent lives, including Brown’s former star quarterback, Tollette “Tonka” George, shot near a local gas station.

In Across the River, award-winning sports journalist Kent Babb follows the Karr football team through its 2019 season as Brown and his team - perhaps the scrappiest and most rebellious group in the program’s history - vie to again succeed on and off the field. What is sure to be a classic work of sports journalism, Across the River is a necessary investigation into the serious realities of young athletes in struggling neighborhoods: gentrification, eviction, mental health issues, the drug trade, and gun violence. It offers a rich and unflinching portrait of a coach, his players, and the West Bank, a community where it’s difficult - but not impossible - to rise above the chaos, discover purpose, and find a way out.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Kent Babb (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • J.B.
  • 2022-11-28

This book changed my perspective

Kent Babb make incredible use of the complete and unfiltered access to the Karr Cougars high school football team. His stark portrayal of what it’s like to live in the roughest and most poverty stricken parts of New Orleans — with chaos seemingly everywhere — caused me to examine my life as a white man who grew up from the suburb. I consider myself a progressive thinker, but Babb’s book and the heartbreaking stories he tells opened my eyes to some realities I’ll never have to face.



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  • Deirdre Jersey
  • 2022-11-13

Compelling.Add this Book to Required Reading Lists

Author Kent Babb was interviewed on The Today Show. Attracted to "underdog" stories, I added it to my library in 2021. A week ago I became immersed in Babb's deep, intimate look at the young men who were the 2019 Carr High School Football team. Of chief importance, their selfless Coach Brown who sacrifices his life as he encourages, befriends, and teaches valuable life lessons. As he and the boys strive to move themselves out of the poverty and crime ridden streets of Algiers, Louisiana, across the river and in the shadow of N'orleans, life is full of deep woes and the occasional, highly valued celebration. I'd hazard a guess that much of our country has no idea what life is like on that other shore and Babb's book is rich with insights. I'm a 76-year old grandmother with little knowledge of football but do understand teamwork, drive and determination. My hat's off to Coach Brown, the striving young men and Kent Babb for telling this important story with great compassion.

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  • thewonder
  • 2022-11-01

Loved it!

loved it. wished it would have included the Not Finished Yet" song at the end. Highest recommendation!

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  • T$
  • 2022-03-09

Extraordinary story

This is a spectacular story about a little known and poorly understood community and a coach who saves and changes lives every day. It is well written and honest, and narrated beautifully. I recommend this to sports fan of any age.

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  • kamsct
  • 2022-02-12

A Must Read for All

Across the River is a raw and emotional look into high school football and life! The coaches coach young men in not only football but life! They are fierce and demanding but love just as hard! If you are the mother of a son with a dream to play ball read it! Parts maybe hard to read, but in the end you will better understand both the game and the life lessons that can only be taught by a loving, dedicated and committed coach!!

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  • Meagan Elizabeth Hutchinson
  • 2021-11-21

Once a Karr fan, always a Karr fan!

I don’t know if I can tell you the first time I heard the school name “Edna Karr” but I can tell you that I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember. They were the elites when I was growing up and all through my 20’s regardless of the rough patches they had here and there. This is an amazing story of these boys and their coaches and their main male figure, Brice Brown. I could not put it down and I listened to the entire book in less than 3 days! Amazing! I remember the game with Neville that is talked about in the last part of the book, CAUSE I WAS THERE! lol. I had been dying to see “my boys” play again and it had been a few years. Well I watched each week building up to what potentially was going to be Karr coming to my neck of the woods, to Neville. AND IT HAPPENED! Excited is an understatement lol. I was there before they were coming out to warm up and to say I was a bit “star struck” is putting it mildly! I was able to go sit on their side at that game with my dad and brother and I couldn’t have been happier! I accidentally ended up being under the stands going back to my seat when they were coming out from the halftime break, and I just stood and watched them in aww as they were so pumped up and coming out to finish off this game to head to the dome! After hearing this story, I feel even more for that night and knowing I was there; I watched this unfold in real time; and now it’s a part of one of the best books I’ve ever heard or read, well I’m proud to say that I was THERE! Being from the NE part of Louisiana I don’t get to see them often, but when I do, I am always cheering them on! Always will!! Good luck with the rest of the playoffs this year boys!!! If you are playing for the championship in a few weeks, I’ll be down there to be supporting ya again! ♥️♥️♥️

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-11-14

#Inspired

What an incredible, story of community, sacrifice, and a living example of the divide between those who have and those who do not, those that are white and those that are black and to those who receive justice and those who don’t.

Thank you for opening our eyes.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-11-10

Exceptional in every way possible!!!!!!

I felt like I was in the locker room with Coach Brown, his staff, and his kids. I wish I could go out for Popeyes with him and Fat. I would recommend this audio book to everyone 8 to 80 with a heart and empathy.

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  • Dustin coulter
  • 2021-11-01

best book ever. I have 100 titles on audible

I have over 10 titles almost exclusively sports memoirs, biographies and non fiction. this was the best yet

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Belinda C.
  • 2021-10-21

I Loved this Book!

Excellent narration and well written. I can't wait for the movie and I pray for all of those who's life snippet was shared in this book.