|Martina & Chrissie : the greatest rivalry in the history of sports|
Author: Bildner, Phil
A dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 188795
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 70762
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
Booklist (+) (02/15/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 2–5—Nonfiction tennis books for kids are in general in short supply, and so are retellings of powerful true rivalries between star players of any sport. Bildner offers kids both in this picture book biography of Martina Navratilova and Chris "Chrissie" Evert. Each woman's story begins in childhood, gently and with minimal text. The book becomes more interesting when the author notes that these two intense rivals were good friends from their first meeting and that each still fought hard to beat the other on the court. They both pushed to be the very best, and then they relaxed together—except for a few years when Navratilova had a coach who wouldn't allow her to be friends with a rival. They met in the finals of the French Open twice, intense duels that Evert won; Navratilova decided then that friendship was more important—and to this day they remain close friends who support each other's off-court charity work. Though Evert and Navratilova are long retired and largely unknown to most kids, their tale imparts a timely moral: friendship and kindness are what matter most. That said, this is likely a shelf-sitter despite a good narrative, strong illustrations, and great factual support that includes a bibliography for students doing reports. VERDICT Though a quality selection for students who need role models and for tennis players seeking idols to emulate, this title will require some handselling on the part of librarians.—Dorcas Hand, formerly at Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2017 *Starred Review* Sports rivalries are compelling both on and off the court, and Bildner and Helquist bring a particularly notable one to the pages of this picture book about tennis stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. In an energetic, conversational tone somewhere between sports commentary and classroom lesson, Bildner tells the very different stories of the two women’s starts, beginning with Evert’s tennis-focused youth in Florida and Navratilova’s childhood in Communist Czechoslovakia. Though their playing styles were vastly different, they were both determined players who each drove the other to train even harder. The circumstances of the Cold War made many expect the rivals to hate each other, but they defied the odds and became great friends. Helquist’s spirited acrylic-and-oil illustrations highlight pivotal matches between Evert and Navratilova, and his expert renditions of their facial expressions, which sometimes fill entire pages, bring home the intensity they each brought to their game. While this rivalry existed in a quantifiable world of winners and losers, Bildner emphasizes a different side of competition: “No rivalry is ever just about the numbers. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert made each other better players, and better people, too.” This spirited, engrossing story, containing an inspiring message and enough information for the fact hungry, is a fantastic addition to all sports collections, particularly ones needing more titles featuring women in sports. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.