Billie Jean!

How Tennis Star Billie Jean King Changed Women’s Sports

Written by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

This is an easy-to-read nonfiction picture book about the accomplishments of tennis star Billie Jean King. Beginning with her energetic childhood, the book shows how Billie Jean ran fast, played hard, and put everything she had into her dreams. Because tennis was one of few acceptable sports for girls at the time, Billie Jean’s father suggested she try it. Even though her family had little money, Billie Jean excelled at tennis and after three years was good enough to play in a national tournament. By high school, Billie Jean was one of the best teen players in America. But no one paid attention to girl’s sports. This was to become a life-long quest for Billie Jean. The book showcases many of her wins, but also highlights all the advancements Billie Jean championed for women’s sports and women’s rights, culminating in her match against Bobbie Riggs. The illustrations are colorful and dynamic, and the simple text makes this a nice fit for elementary school. The author’s note at the back adds interesting details to the story and discusses what it meant for Billie Jean to also come out as gay. This is a great book for sports fans and a nice addition to books about women’s rights.

Reviewed by Andrea LeBaron, Media Clerk, Upland Terrace Elementary
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 2-6

Author Website: http://mararockliff.com/ | Illustrator Website: http://ebaddeley.com/

Billie Jean! How Tennis Star Billie Jean King Changed Women’s Sports
Written by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
40 pages
Release Date: August 20, 2019
ISBN: 9780525517795
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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