Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson

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9780823419265: Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson

Growing up in Harlem in the 1930s, Althea Gibson became tough and rebellious. Some said she was having trouble finding her way, until she was a teenager when she discovered she had a talent for sports. In fact, Althea was a natural at tennis, but tennis was played mostly by wealthy white people in country clubs that excluded African Americans. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Althea was not deterred. Instead, she set about becoming a barrier-breaking and world-famous athlete.

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About the Author:

Elbrite Brown is an illustrator, fine artist, and high school art teacher. His illustrations for "My Family Plays Music" by Judy Cox won him a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Karen Deans has worked as a journalist and is also a muralist, illustrator, fine artist, and entrepreneur. This is her first book for children. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and three children.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Not only was Gibson a record-breaking tennis player, but she also played an important role in breaking down racial barriers. As a child of poor sharecroppers in the volatile South, life was full of hardships, which resulted in her being sent off to live with an aunt in New York City and then to another aunt in Philadelphia. When she was nine, the family was reunited in Harlem where young Althea grew to be as tough as nails. Amazingly, she channeled energy from fighting and skipping school to a love of sports for which she had a natural talent. Winning title after title, this amazing athlete rose to fame and proved she was indeed playing to win. For the most part, the multimedia illustrations are well matched to the power and fluidity of the text, particularly in capturing the champion in action. In some spreads, the perspective is awkward, and in a few others, the backgrounds overwhelm the main figures. Overall, though, this well-written and attractive biography will be a popular addition to most collections.—Judy Chichinski, Skyline Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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