Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams By Lesa Cline-Ransome, Illustrated by James E. Ransome (2018) – Hardcover
Game Changers is a gorgeously illustrated biography of Venus and Serena Williams, tennis superstars and two of the greatest athletes of all time. In addition to the focus on their athletic paths, it’s also a celebration of sisterhood and their determined, loving father.
The story begins with the sisters’ first day of lessons on the run-down tennis courts of Compton, CA. They had to first sweep up the broken glass and trash before they could even begin the lesson. Through further adversity and setback, the story ends with the 2002 French Open match where Venus and Serena faced off as competitors. From the gender and racial inequity they faced in sports to their humble beginnings on the streets of Compton, readers of various backgrounds are sure to find a connection to the sisters’ story. And their success, on and off the tennis courts, will be a source of inspiration!
An “Afterward” details the life of the sisters where the story left off. Also included are detailed source notes, a selected bibliography, and suggestions for further reading.
The visuals of the book are truly unique. Illustrator James E. Ransome used a combination of cut paper, pencil and acrylic paints to create the stunning page spreads and cover art. I found myself pausing on every page to admire the details!
Take-away message: Success doesn’t happen overnight. To achieve greatness, you must put in the work and stay the course, even against all odds. Also, your accomplishments are more gratifying when you have a strong support team cheering for you and pushing you to do better.
TAGS: sisters, family, father-daughter, Black, female lead, notable POC, Venus & Serena Williams, hardcover