Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams

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Annotation: This lovingly crafted picture-book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams, tennis stars who may be among the greatest athletes of all time.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #171120
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Ransome, James,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-481-47684-X Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3141-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-481-47684-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3141-6
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2018015529
Dimensions: 23 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Husband-and-wife team James E. and Lesa Cline-Ransome (Before She Was Harriet) offer a powerful portrayal of the sisters and tennis legends. Growing up in Los Angeles, Venus and Serena played tennis in the courts of East Compton Park, where neighborhood gunshots sometimes interrupted their practice. The book follows their move onto professional courts, where they drew attention for their raw talent and expressive styles, as well as their unfortunate treatment by some watchers, who -threatened, booed, and taunted- the sisters for their skin tone. Cline-Ransome conveys the sisters- affection and competitiveness, emphasizing how Serena remained one step behind Venus until the 2002 French Open, when -a victorious Serena stepped out of the shadow of her sister.- Yet the sisters are pictured standing side-by-side for Serena-s win: ---Nothing can keep me from celebrating when my best friend wins a match,- Venus said proudly.- Ransome-s sophisticated portraiture captures a likeness of the two athletes, while spreads feature playfully stylized cut-paper collage accents-visuals that enhance this tribute to sisterhood, athletics, and determination. Ages 4-8. (July)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 35 This lovingly crafted picture book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams and one of their signature accomplishments: being the first two sisters in tennis history to rank numbers one and two in the world. Beginning with their early childhood, Cline-Ransome highlights the siblings' hard work and dedication to each other and their goals. From pre-dawn practices as preschoolers in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, to Serena's first victory over Venus in the 2002 French Open nearly 20 years later, this story of their single-minded focus and unwavering family support will inspire readers to achieve greatness regardless of the odds. The collage artwork, done in cut paper, pencil, and acrylic paints, is expansive and filled with vibrant colors and emotions. Fans of tennis will be in for a treat as Cline-Ransome recounts the Williams's matches with thrilling detail. This powerful narrative will most appeal to independent readers. Back matter includes an afterword that chronicles the duo's accomplishments and challenges from 2002 to 2011. VERDICT An important selection for biography and sports collections. Lynn Van Auken, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs, MA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The acclaimed Ransome husband-and-wife duo move from the historical (Before She Was Harriet, 2017) to the present-day with this story of African American sisters Venus and Serena Williams, who changed the game of tennis with their prowess and determination. The picture-book biography begins with their early years, when they would get up before dawn to clear garbage off the tennis courts near their home and practice the game six days a week under the tutelage of their father. Without formal training, the two devised methods to increase their natural talent, such as incorporating ballet for flexibility, running to increase their speed, and throwing footballs to help their serves become more powerful. Clear writing, an inviting layout, collage-style pictures, and quotes from the sisters and their parents make this nonfiction format accessible for emerging and more confident readers. Cut paper, pencil, and acrylic paints blend seamlessly to create beautifully bold, colorful illustrations in tribute to two amazing athletes. A detailed afterword lists their many accomplishments, including U.S. Open and Wimbledon victoriesas well as their Olympic gold medals. Source notes, a bibliography, and further reading enhance an informative book that will appeal to children and sports fans of all ages.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Starred Review for Horn Book
School Library Journal Starred Review (Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 2,069
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 195759 / grade: Lower Grades

“This lovingly crafted picture book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams…An important selection for biography and sports collections.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

“Will appeal to children and sports fans of all ages.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Wife-and-husband team Cline-Ransome and Ransome celebrate tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their formative childhoods and the way their preparation and talent fundamentally changed the game.” —The Horn Book (starred review)

“Every page is splashed with vibrant color and eye-catching patterns, and the figures of the women themselves are full of energy, speed, and tension.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“A beautifully composed biography of the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus…This is one biography that will struggle to stay on the shelf.” —School Library Connection

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Some say they’re two of the greatest athletes of all time. Before they were world famous, they were little girls with big dreams.

Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters.

Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena’s turn. It wasn’t easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn’t let it stop them.

With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.


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