Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports
by Phil Bildner; Illustrated by Brett Helquist (Candlewick Press, March 14, 2017)
Nonfiction * Women's Sports * Biographical
Audience: Grades 2 to 5
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
A fascinating dual biography of tennis greats Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert celebrates the power of equality, respect, and sportsmanship.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans."
Thoughts on this book:
In August, I had the honor of revealing the cover for Martina & Chrissie and sharing some of author, Phil Bildner's thoughts on his latest book. You can check out the post here. It provides a fantastic author's note to the book.
In the 1970's, I was definitely not much of a tennis fan; however, even I knew who Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were. During tennis season, you couldn't turn on the news without hearing about one of both of these women. Yet, due to my lack of interest in tennis, I never really thought about these women as individuals or as possible friends. Chrissie & Martina opened my eyes to another side to these women. Instead of just seeing them as athletes, Bildner shares an element of their friendship, which settles readers into the story and keeps them engaged.
Bildner provides young readers with a solid introduction to Chrissie and Martina as both outstanding competitive athletes and also friends. It can be a challenge at times to have to key players as part of a picture book biography, but Bildner makes it work without leaning more towards one or the other. In addition to sharing with students about the lives and friendship of two talented athletes, Bildner includes a timeline, and some additional resources at the end of the book.
Check out the Educator's Guide here.
Look for a copy of the book at your local indie bookstore or public library.
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