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Game Changers
Cover of Game Changers
Game Changers
The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
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An ALA Notable Book

"This lovingly crafted picture book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams...An important selection for biography and sports collections." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"Will appeal to children and sports fans of all ages." —Booklist (starred review)

"Wife-and-husband team Cline-Ransome and Ransome celebrate tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their formative childhoods and the way their preparation and talent fundamentally changed the game." —The Horn Book (starred review)

"Every page is splashed with vibrant color and eye-catching patterns, and the figures of the women themselves are full of energy, speed, and tension." —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"A beautifully composed biography of the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus...This is one biography that will struggle to stay on the shelf." —School Library Connection

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Some say they're two of the greatest athletes of all time. Before they were world famous, they were little girls with big dreams.
Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters.

Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena's turn. It wasn't easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn't let it stop them.

With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.
An ALA Notable Book

"This lovingly crafted picture book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams...An important selection for biography and sports collections." —School Library Journal (starred review)

"Will appeal to children and sports fans of all ages." —Booklist (starred review)

"Wife-and-husband team Cline-Ransome and Ransome celebrate tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, focusing on their formative childhoods and the way their preparation and talent fundamentally changed the game." —The Horn Book (starred review)

"Every page is splashed with vibrant color and eye-catching patterns, and the figures of the women themselves are full of energy, speed, and tension." —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"A beautifully composed biography of the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus...This is one biography that will struggle to stay on the shelf." —School Library Connection

Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Some say they're two of the greatest athletes of all time. Before they were world famous, they were little girls with big dreams.
Venus and Serena Williams. Two peas in a pod. Best friends. Sisters.

Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena's turn. It wasn't easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn't let it stop them.

With vibrant mixed media art, nonfiction superstars Lesa Cline-Ransome and Coretta Scott King Honor winner James E. Ransome share the inspirational story of two tennis legends who were fierce competitors on the courts, but close sisters above all.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    1030
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    6 - 8

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of many award-winning and critically acclaimed nonfiction books for young readers, including Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams; My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle's Journey to Alvin Ailey; and Before She Was Harriet. She is also the author of the novel Finding Langston, which received a Coretta Scott King Honor Award and five starred reviews. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Learn more at LesaClineRansome.com
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2018
    Two African-American sisters become superstars in the predominantly white sport of tennis.Venus Williams and her younger sister, Serena, grew up in Compton, outside of LA. Their father, Richard Williams, had big dreams for his girls, and they embraced the hard work of learning and perfecting their tennis games. The girls eventually became exceptionally good, winning so many junior tournaments that word spread about them. Venus turned professional at age 14 and Serena followed a year later, and they quickly moved up through the tennis rankings. The sport had few nonwhite players, and they stood out in appearance and style. "Tennis had never seen anything like them." Cline-Ransome focuses on the sisters' early breakthrough years, ending the story when they first reached the pinnacle of the sport and faced each other to win major championships. The lively narrative does not shy away from the difficulties they faced but focuses on their determination to succeed and their close relationship. Ransome uses cut paper, pencil, and acrylic paints for pictures that are varied and energetic. The striking cover painting presents the recognizable faces that have graced many sports magazines. With an eye-catching design, the inside art is expressive and evocative, beginning with the endpapers. An afterword tells more of their story, including Venus' struggle with an autoimmune disease and their off-court activism.A solid introduction for young sports fans. (bibliography, further reading, notes) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2018

    Gr 3-5-This lovingly crafted picture book biography centers on the incredible bond between Venus and Serena Williams and one of their signature accomplishments: being the first two sisters in tennis history to rank numbers one and two in the world. Beginning with their early childhood, Cline-Ransome highlights the siblings' hard work and dedication to each other and their goals. From pre-dawn practices as preschoolers in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles, to Serena's first victory over Venus in the 2002 French Open nearly 20 years later, this story of their single-minded focus and unwavering family support will inspire readers to achieve greatness regardless of the odds. The collage artwork, done in cut paper, pencil, and acrylic paints, is expansive and filled with vibrant colors and emotions. Fans of tennis will be in for a treat as Cline-Ransome recounts the Williams's matches with thrilling detail. This powerful narrative will most appeal to independent readers. Back matter includes an afterword that chronicles the duo's accomplishments and challenges from 2002 to 2011. VERDICT An important selection for biography and sports collections.-Lynn Van Auken, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs, MA

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 18, 2018
    Husband-and-wife team James E. and Lesa Cline-Ransome (Before She Was Harriet) offer a powerful portrayal of the sisters and tennis legends. Growing up in Los Angeles, Venus and Serena played tennis in the courts of East Compton Park, where neighborhood gunshots sometimes interrupted their practice. The book follows their move onto professional courts, where they drew attention for their raw talent and expressive styles, as well as their unfortunate treatment by some watchers, who “threatened, booed, and taunted” the sisters for their skin tone. Cline-Ransome conveys the sisters’ affection and competitiveness, emphasizing how Serena remained one step behind Venus until the 2002 French Open, when “a victorious Serena stepped out of the shadow of her sister.” Yet the sisters are pictured standing side-by-side for Serena’s win: “ ‘Nothing can keep me from celebrating when my best friend wins a match,’ Venus said proudly.” Ransome’s sophisticated portraiture captures a likeness of the two athletes, while spreads feature playfully stylized cut-paper collage accents—visuals that enhance this tribute to sisterhood, athletics, and determination. Ages 4–8.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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