Game, Set, Match: book review

January 13, 2011

Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe

Recently, Lee and Low Books send me a review copy of Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe by Crystal Hubbard.

I haven't read it to Juliet because it is really long and aimed at an older audience; however, I very much enjoyed reading it on my own.

The story of Arthur Ashe's life is inspiring and motivating. I knew very little about the tennis champion's life before reading this book, but learned so much with every page I turned. I love his strong work ethic, his dedication to his sport, and his respect for his coaches. He overcame great challenges to obtain his goals and dreams--what a great role model for young people, tennis players or not.

And while this book was informative and well-written, the part I liked the most was the Author's Note in the back where Hubbard shares a personal story from her childhood when she met Arthur Ashe at two different book signings.

She tells how he not only remembered her name, but also those of her sisters:

He'd remembered my name. And he'd remembered Kim's too. But he'd also remembered Kelly, Joelle, and Lauren, and he'd put their names on the photo without any prompting from me. Mr. Ashe, a man who had conquered a sport typically closed to people of color, who had walked with dignitaries and seen the world, remembered a little girl with pigtails who didn't like to play tennis. 

This book would be perfect for my 9th and 10th grade students (if I were still teaching them.) I can think of so many discussions, writing prompts, and research projects that could go along with this.

I know this is not the kind of book I typically share here, but I thought I would anyway, just in case you have older children in your home or you teach them at school.

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