She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game (She Persisted)

by Chelsea Clinton (Author) Alexandra Boiger (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: She Persisted

From Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, the #1 New York Times bestselling team behind She Persisted, comes a new book featuring women athletes who overcame and inspired--just in time for the Olympics!

Throughout history, women have been told that they couldn't achieve their dreams, no matter how hard they tried. Women athletes have faced their own unique set of challenges, across countless sports and levels of play. In this third She Persisted book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women who have excelled in their sports because of their persistence. She Persisted in Sports is a book for everyone who has ever aimed for a goal and been told it wasn't theirs to hit, for everyone who has ever raced for a finish line that seemed all too far away, and for everyone who has ever felt small or unimportant while out on the field.

Alexandra Boiger's vibrant artwork accompanies this inspiring text that shows readers of all ages that, no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the power to persist and succeed. This book features: Margaret Ives Abbott, Gertrude Ederle, Mildred Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Wilma Rudolph, Jean Driscoll, Mia Hamm (and the 1996 Olympic soccer team), Kristi Yamaguchi, Venus and Serena Williams, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Diana Taurasi, Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.  

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3--The series' latest picture book spotlights female sports icons who overcame sexism and proved how unwavering determination can lead to success. The text celebrates a diverse group of 16 women who became Olympic stars in 13 different sports. They often faced obstacles, such as childhood illnesses, disabilities, racial and religious prejudice, and restricting gender roles. Featured athletes include golfer Margaret Ives Abbott, swimmer Gertrude Ederle, track and field star Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias, runner Wilma Rudolph, wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll, soccer player Mia Hamm, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, volleyball teammates Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, gymnast Simone Biles, and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Boiger's cheerful illustrations are rendered in pen and watercolor. The verso features the subject depicted as a child and a short biography, which describes the particular challenges she faced and her accomplishments. The recto shows the adult athlete wearing Olympic medals around her neck and a quote from the athlete. This design choice emphasizes these encouraging words more than the layout of the previous books in this series. VERDICT An appealing reminder that, with perseverance, girls can be athletes--or whatever else they choose.--Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History; She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game; Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe; It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!; Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference; with Hillary Clinton, Grandma's Gardens and Gutsy Women; and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, their children and their dog, Soren. You can follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton or on Facebook at

Alexandra Boiger
( has illustrated nearly twenty picture books, including She Persisted and She Persisted Around the World, both by Chelsea Clinton; the popular Tallulah series by Marilyn Singer; and the Max and Marla books, which she also wrote. Originally from Munich, Germany, she now lives outside of San Francisco, California, with her husband, Andrea, daughter, Vanessa, and two cats, Luiso and Winter. Follow Alexandra on Instagram @alexandra_boiger.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Philomel Books
Publication date
September 20, 2020
She Persisted
BISAC categories
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
JNF007100 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Sports & Recreation
Library of Congress categories
United States
Women athletes
Women Olympic athletes

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