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|Billie Jean! : how tennis star Billie Jean King changed women's sports|
Author: Rockliff, Mara
A picture book biography of tennis champion and social activist Billie Jean King.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 504298
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/19)
School Library Journal (08/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2019 This lively picture book introduces tennis star Billie Jean King, who emerged as an outspoken supporter of women’s equality when she accepted a challenge from provocateur and former tennis star Bobby Riggs and won their much-publicized match. While the narrative tells of King’s early struggles, hard work, and successes on the court, it also details the difficulties facing her as a woman athlete in the era before Title IX, when reporters would routinely ask male tennis champs about their game, and then quiz King about her jewelry, hairstyles, and plans for motherhood. The narrative climaxes with her victory over Riggs. Writing in relatively short sentences and occasional speech balloons within the illustrations, Rockliff tells the story simply and effectively, while letting readers draw their own conclusions. Baddeley's colorful artwork, created with ink, watercolor, acrylic, and digital elements, dramatizes the action. Considering King’s contributions to the struggle toward equal funding, scholarships, pay, and respect for women in sports, this accessible picture book offers a welcome introduction to this legendary tennis star and advocate for women’s rights. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 K-Gr 3—As a child, athletically inclined Billie Jean King was angry that her favorite sports were for men only. She was then introduced to tennis and began doing so well that she was competing at Wimbledon while still a teenager. Despite her successes, she was a victim of the sexist double standards that negatively impacted female athletes. While male tennis champions were asked about their game, she was asked about her marriage and childbearing prospects. She also realized women were compensated far less than their male counterparts. When Bobby Riggs challenged her to a match in 1973, King was determined to beat him—which she did. She became a crusader for the equal treatment of women athletes, even testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Education to advocate for girls' sports. Rockliff's text deftly tells King's story; Baddeley provides beautiful illustrations. An afterword offers further information about King, including a former girlfriend that outed King to the public. Less biography than a tale of King's fight for women's rights in professional sports, this volume is almost identical in scope to Brad Meltzer's I Am Billie Jean King. However, Rockcliff's narrative is better executed, and Baddeley's pictures are more appealing. VERDICT A good addition for collections needing information on the evolution of women's treatment in professional sports through the life of one of its greatest icons.—Margaret Nunes, Gwinnett County Public Library, GA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.