Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson

Front Cover
Holiday House, 2007 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 32 pages
2 Reviews
Growing up in Harlem in the 1930s, Althea Gibson became tough and rebellious. Some said she was having trouble finding her way, until she was a teenager when she discovered she had a talent for sports. In fact, Althea was a natural at tennis, but tennis was played mostly by wealthy white people in country clubs that excluded African Americans. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Althea was not deterred. Instead, she set about becoming a barrier-breaking and world-famous athlete.

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This is a true story of Althea Gibson, a renowned African American tennis player. She was the daughter of slaves and grew up among hardship and racial turmoil in the South. This is an inspiring story of how Gibson overcame adversity to become successful in spite of lack of opportunities provided for black women in her time. This is a great story for children to read in helping understand racism historically and how hard work and determination prevail over intolerance. 

Review: Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson

User Review  - Goodreads

Story is well told. The problem is the uneven art work. The artist is quoted as saying he felt Althea Gibson was as "graceful as a ballerina" and wanted that to be reflected in the pictures. And the ... Read full review

About the author (2007)

Karen Deans has worked as a journalist and is also a muralist, illustrator, fine artist, and entrepreneur. This is her first book for children. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and three children.

Elbrite Brown is an illustrator, fine artist, and high school art teacher. His illustrations for "My Family Plays Music" by Judy Cox won him a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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