Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams

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Annotation: Tells the story of the highly successful tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, laying out their humble beginnings, hard work, mutual support, and their resulting extraordinary achievements in tennis.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #197680
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Cooper, Floyd,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-399-16906-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6349-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-399-16906-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6349-3
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2017041681
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This picture book begins with Richard Williams buying four-year-old Venus and three-year-old Serena tennis rackets and telling people "the wildest things" about his daughters. Those folks laughed at his vision of two black girls from Compton becoming world-­famous tennis champions, but those folks were wrong. Venus and Serena grew up talented, competitive, and emotionally close, while winning singles and doubles events in tennis tournaments around the world. Their occasional rivalry on the court is balanced by the closing quote from Serena, "Tennis is just a game. . .. Family is forever." Bryant, a sports journalist and the author of several middle-grade books, including Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball (2017), writes in a straightforward manner about the Williams sisters' setbacks and triumphs, emphasizing their determination and hard work, as well as their father's role and the importance of family. Cooper contributes a series of beautiful mixed-media illustrations. Alive with warmth and movement, these luminous, soft-edged scenes portray the sisters gradually growing into strong, capable women. A handsome sports biography.
Horn Book
Bold Syd and sensitive Miranda share an unfortunate bond: each has lost her mother. Miranda's mom joined a cult years ago; Syd's alcoholic mom skipped town before Syd's freshman year. As this contemporary drama begins their senior year, Syd, too, disappears, leaving perceptive narrator Miranda to navigate yet another loss. Fountain tenderly explores the great pain and power of forging one's own identity as well as the inescapable influence of loved ones.
Kirkus Reviews
A look at how a father's dream to develop his daughters into tennis champions changed the world of sports.Richard Williams, father of African-American tennis players Venus and Serena, had to overcome ridicule and disbelief when he set out to mold his girls into star athletes. The family did what was necessary to help the girls improve, such as move from Compton to Florida so they could train. Even then, Richard Williams did things his way, bypassing the junior tournaments that others in their age range played. "People said Dad was hurting his girls. Dad said he had a plan, that they were a family and families always stick together." Their unity helped them overcome the gossip, some of it negative, and they began to climb the rankings due to their hard work and relentless style. Eventually, Venus and Serena fulfilled their father's belief and became the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked players in the world, the only time siblings have achieved such a feat. Author Bryant brings his considerable sportswriting experience to bear as he energetically shares one of sports' truly remarkable stories with young readers. Cooper's mixed-media paintings done with his reductive technique provide a strong sense of the Williams sisters' image while serving as a forceful compliment. There is no backmatter with resources for readers who want to learn more about these powerful women who so dramatically changed tennis. An effective narrative and visual way to share a piece of sports history. (Picture book/biography. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
Bryant opens his story of Venus and Serena Williams with a focus on the sisters- distinctive personalities and close early relationship, as well as on their father, Richard Williams, whose insistence that his daughters would become tennis champions was initially met with derision (-They laughed because Venus and Serena were black, and black people, they said, weren-t supposed to play tennis-). Cooper creates dynamic, naturalistic paintings of the sisters as children, adolescents, and adults on the court and off, setting them against grainy spreads. Bryant details their successes and personal setbacks, and their resilience shines through to the story-s finale, which sees the champions holding trophies and embracing: -Family is forever.- Readers will grasp the significance of Venus and Serena-s accomplishments as record-breaking athletes and as individuals who struck down societal barriers to their success. Ages 4-8. (May)

Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (6/1/18)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 1,185
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 199853 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD750L

"This one's a winner." --Chicago Tribune

A 2019 ILA Teacher's Choices Reading List Selection!

An inspiring picture book sports biography about two of the greatest female tennis players of all-time! Venus and Serena Williams: Best friends. Sisters. Champions.

Everyone knows the names Venus & Serena Williams. They've become synonymous with championships, hard work, and with shaking up the tennis world. This inspirational true story, written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and brought to beautiful life by Coretta Scott Kind Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, details the sisters' journey from a barely-there tennis court in Compton, CA, to Olympic gold medals and becoming the #1 ranked women in the sport of tennis. Here is a worthy ode to Venus and Serena Williams, the incredible sister duo who will go down in history as two of the greatest athletes of all time.

"Alive with warmth and movement, these luminous, soft-edged scenes portray the sisters gradually growing into strong, capable women. A handsome sports biography." --Booklist

"There is a sharp focus in the book on the two sisters' special bond and friendship; it lies at the heart of this biography, and the women's stories are remarkable. It's high time they had their own picture book tribute."--Kirkus

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