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“It’s important to me that youth everywhere, no matter their race, religion, or their gender, know that anything is possible with perseverance,” Ibtihaj Muhammad. –She Persisted in Sports
She Persisted in Sports
by Chelsea Clinton
AR Test, Picture Book, Strong Female Character
4 - 8
Throughout history, in every sport and at all levels of play, women athletes have been told they were never going to be fast enough, strong enough, or good enough. This book introduces readers to women athletes who have excelled in their sports because of their passion, their skills, and their persistence.
She Persisted in Sports begins with Margaret Ives Abbot, who was the first American woman to become an Olympic champion in the 1800s, and ends with Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, who helped the U.S. Women’s Hockey team win their first gold medal in twenty years. The book introduces 16 women athletes across a 200-year time span. The women are of different races and abilities, including one woman who raced in a wheelchair.
She Persisted in Sports has a positive message that women can do anything with persistence. The can-do attitude of the women’s profiles is inspiring. The book covers women who overcame many obstacles including sexism, a club foot, loss of hearing, and other hardships. Each athlete is introduced in a two-page spread. One page includes a short introduction of the athlete and the other page has a beautiful watercolor illustration with a motivational quote. Throughout the book, the words “she persisted” appear in colored ink, highlighting the theme.
Even though She Persisted in Sports is a picture book, it uses advanced vocabulary and sentence structure. In addition, the text-heavy pages make the book better suited for elementary students. While She Persisted in Sports is an inspirational book, each profile is short and does not tell how the athletes overcame their circumstances. While many of the athletes competed in individual sports, many of the women, such as Mia Hamm of the 1996 Olympic soccer team, were able to help propel their teams to victory.
She Persisted in Sports would be an excellent conversation starter about persistence and overcoming obstacles. It will also springboard some reader’s interest in athletes, which will lead them to learn more about the women featured in the book. The wide variety of sports, the diverse women, and the unique obstacles make She Persisted in Sports an inspiring book for girls to read.
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