Book review: Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams, by Howard Bryant, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Bryant, Howard. Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Philomel, 2018. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-399-16906-9. Ages 7-9. P8Q8

Sports journalist Bryant brings the story of two tennis champion siblings by describing the importance of their parents, the obstacles of their home in the “real tough, sometimes scary part of Los Angeles,” and their race and lower economic class. Yet the sisters won Olympic gold medals and became the #1 ranked women in tennis.

Verdict: Although many of readers will know about the sisters’ competition, the narrative describes their closeness, and Cooper depicts the worry as they struggle against each other. The mixed media illustration uses a subtractive process that creates primarily browns and sepia.

May 2018 review by Nel Ward.

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