Book Tells Story of Tennis Great
"Nothing But Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson," by Sue Stauffacher (Knopf Delacorte Dell, $16.99), is an new picture book that details the life of tennis great Althea Gibson. Author Stauffacher paints a vivid picture of a vibrant and talented young girl, who would go on to become the first African American ever to win Wimbledon. Illustrator Greg Couch's remarkable artwork allows readers to see the unbridled energy that surrounded Gibson wherever she went.
Everyone who knows Althea Gibson thinks she is nothing but trouble. If her mother asks her to go the store for bread, she ends up playing stickball with the neighborhood boys instead. When recess time at school is over, Althea often never returns to class. Althea loves being outside playing sports, and no matter what anyone tells her, she is sure that someday she'll be a famous sports star "somebody big, like Charlie Parker or Sugar Ray."
When Althea's paddle tennis skills are noticed by Buddy Walker, the recreation leader in her Harlem neighborhood, Althea's journey to becoming a successful athlete begins. With Buddy's help, Althea is given a real tennis racket, and begins playing at some of the wealthiest tennis clubs in Harlem. As she sharpens her skills, Althea realizes that she can channel all of her energy and aggression into playing the game. The girl that everyone called trouble quickly became a major force to reckon with on the tennis court, and went on to win many honors, including the Wimbledon championship two years in a row.
Sue Stauffacher provides young readers, parents, educators, and tennis fans with a breathtaking picture book about the life and journey of Althea Gibson, an athlete who paved the way for current players like Venus and Serena Williams, and female athletes of all nationalities and color. Greg Couch's luminous illustrations portray Althea's energy in soft streaks of color that shift to surround the tennis ball as Althea learns to direct her energy towards the game. An author's note at the end of the book provides further details about Althea Gibson's memorable life.
When Lives Collide
"If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period," by Gennifer Choldendko (Harcourt Children's, $17) is a story about world's colliding and families separating.
Two kids, two lives. For Kristen McKenna, the world is crumbling. Her parents are barely speaking to each other, and her best friend has come under the spell of the school's queen bee, Brianna. Only Kristen's younger science geek sister is on her side.
For Walker Jones, the goal is to survive at the new White private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousins. But Walk is a good kid. So is his new friend, Matteo, though no one knows why Matteo will do absolutely anything that hot blond Brianna asks of him.
Two worlds collide in one compelling story. Then Kristen discovers something that shakes her and Walk to their core …
"You knew all along," Walk says.
"No I didn't."
"You're lying … You found out and then you told the whole world."