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Venus & Serena Williams
Table of Contents
About The Book
Celebrated picture book biographer Jeanette Winter shares the story of champion tennis players—and sisters—Venus and Serena Williams.
Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.
About The Illustrator
Jeanette Winter is a celebrated picture book creator whose acclaimed works include The Snow Man; The Little Owl & the Big Tree: A Christmas Story; Oil; The Secret Project; and Diego, all written by Jonah Winter, and her own Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia; Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan; and Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet, which has been translated into twenty-one languages.
- Publisher: Beach Lane Books (April 2, 2019)
- Length: 48 pages
- ISBN13: 9781534431218
- Ages: 3 - 8
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Raves and Reviews
A story about the love and friendship of two sisters and the determination of a family to succeed.
From the very opening of the book, the story focuses equally on the loving relationship between African-American tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams and the affection and resilience of the Williams family in a challenging and often violent environment in Compton, California. The dedicated father and his daughters wake early every morning to clean the run-down tennis courts. The girls' focus as they practice draws the attention and protection of a group of older boys who like to hang out at the courts: their first fans. Well into the night, the girls study hard, supported by their mother and each other. The text and illustrations work together, much as the Williams sisters do, to highlight their history-making challenges and achievements. With changes in scenery and other vivid depictions that encourage readers to consider confrontations of race and class, the book aims for honesty while remaining age-appropriate for young readers. Images of the two brown-skinned sisters, hair in braids, against seas of white spectators speak volumes, as do later scenes that include the additions of some brown faces in those stands as the two adult superstars compete. The love of the family and complicated community is weaved throughout, creating a candid depiction of how love grows in all places and can provide the scaffolding for success.
– Kirkus Reviews, 3/1/19
What the book does very well is tell the Williams sisters' story in a satisfying trajectory and with eye-catching illustrations that show the action from various perspectives. The tennis match scenes are particularly alive. A great introduction to an incredible sister act.
– Booklist, April 15, 2019
Awards and Honors
- CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies
- Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
Book Cover Image (jpg): Sisters
Author Photo (jpg): Jeanette Winter
Drawing by Jeanette Winter(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
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