Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe

48p. 978-1-60060-366-2.
Gr 3—5—This picture book focuses on Ashe's early years and tennis career through 1975. Hubbard paints a vivid picture of the challenges the young boy faced in segregated Richmond, VA, of the 1950s. Following his mother's death when he was only six, he was raised by his father, who was a strong advocate in the pursuit of his son's tennis dream. Ashe's self-discipline in athletics and in his academic studies won him a scholarship to UCLA, where he helped lead the tennis team to national victories. It was during his college years that he competed at Wimbledon for the first time and that he was honored in his home city of Richmond with Arthur Ashe Day—the same city that only a few years before would not have let him play on segregated courts. Hubbard's account culminates with Ashe's 1975 surprise upset of Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon. Students who are interested in Ashe's civil-rights activism will need to look elsewhere. Kevin Cunningham's Arthur Ashe: Athlete and Activist (The Child's World, 2005) is a better choice for research. Belford's vibrant acrylics help capture the energy of various games and of Ashe's life in general. Overall, a satisfying tribute to a distinguished athlete.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
This picture book biography focuses largely on the difficulties Ashe overcame along the way to achieving his stellar tennis goals. Born in an era of segregated sports facilities, lacking financial support, and often restricted from playing in tournaments, Ashe persevered; the text culminates in his 1975 defeat of Jimmy Connors. Belford's motion-filled acrylic illustrations enhance Hubbard's readable text. Timeline. Bib.

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