Reid, Megan. Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl. Laura Freeman, Illus. Biog. Balzer & Bray, 01/2020. pp. $17.99. 978-0-06-285109-3. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-3.
With clever and dynamic text and illustrations, this biography of Althea Gibson takes the reader on a hard-hitting journey through Gibson’s rising tennis career. Readers follow her from her sporty origin playing on the streets of Harlem to her historic win at Wimbledon, with realistic nods to Gibson’s progress as an athlete. The book is frank about racism and the challenges Gibson faced at all stages of her career, and insightful choices by the illustrator bring nuance that can be easily grasped by young readers in vivid digitally painted images. Back matter includes an author’s note, a timeline of important dates, and further reading about Althea Gibson. While the book leaves out a large chunk of Gibson’s life (mainly, the less uplifting parts) it offers an excellent introduction to a pioneering African American champion of sport.
Eny Calvert, Fremont Public Library