Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl
Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl
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Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl

Written by Megan Reid & illustrated by Laura Freeman
Published by Balzer + Bray
Prices as of Sep 23

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

An adequate picture book biography that shares tennis champ Althea Gibson’s journey to Wimbledon champion.

In this biography of tennis champion Althea Gibson, Gibson is a naturally gifted athlete who grows up dominating games of basketball, stickball, and anything else played during the summer recess on the streets of her Harlem neighborhood. Neighbors, recognizing her raw talent, help her join the Cosmopolitan Tennis Club. As she excels at the club, she set her sights on becoming a world champion, but in addition to actually beating opponents, she also has to overcome racial barriers preventing her from competing on the biggest stages against the best players in tennis. With help and support from fellow athletes and journalists who recognize her talent and know she needs to compete at the highest levels, Gibson ultimately is allowed to compete at Wimbledon and becomes the first black person to ever win a Wimbledon championship. In addition to sharing Gibson’s successes, Reid covers some of her faults, like how early in her career her competitiveness led her to actions that did not show good sportsmanship, which helps the authenticity of the biography. Freeman’s (Hidden Figures, illustrator) recognizable style is in full force in the digital illustrations, though her depiction of Gibson seems to vary noticeably between pages, and the page design feels busy. While Reid’s narrative is rough at moments, it commendably brings Gibson’s remarkable and important story to a larger audience.

What Kind of Book is Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis' Fleet-of-Foot Girl



Race, Ethnicities, & Nationalities

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • At first, Althea is very competitive, even to the point of treating her competitors poorly. Later, she learns to be more gracious. What can you do to have a better response to things that disappoint you?
  • Althea faces unfair challenges as she works to become the best tennis player in the world. But she is determined and continues to work, and others help and support her too. What challenges do you face? How can you overcome them? Who can help you?


Book Lists That Include This Book

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Megan Reid Said About This Book

Nothing yet! You should let Megan Reid know that you want to hear from them about their book.

What Has Laura Freeman Said About This Book

Nothing yet! You should let Laura Freeman know that you want to hear from them about their book.

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Book Details

Publication Date
January 21, 2020
Illustration Details
The artist used Adobe Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book.
Page Count
Word Count
Reading Age
4 - 8 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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Core Score - 62%

More than halfway there—keep going!

Depth Score - 28%

Just the barebones.

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