Bethany Hamilton (She Persisted)

by Maryann Cocca-Leffler (Author) Gillian Flint (Illustrator)

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

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds--including Bethany Hamilton!

Bethany Hamilton learned to surf when she was three years old, and she joined--and won--many surfing competitions as a child. When she was thirteen, while she was surfing one morning, a shark suddenly attacked her and bit off her left arm. Through hard work, courage, and faith, Bethany persisted and went on to reach her dream of becoming a professional surfer. Along the way, she used her experience to provide inspiration and comfort to surfers and non-surfers alike.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Maryann Cocca-Leffler, readers learn about the amazing life of Bethany Hamilton--and how she persisted. Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Bethany Hamilton's footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don't miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson, Oprah Winfrey, Ruby Bridges, and more!

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Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Maryann Cocca-Leffler ( is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 65 books for children. Maryann's inspiration comes from all around her: children, family, school visits, current news, and the people she meets along the way. Her popular Let It . . . seasons series has sold over two million copies. Maryann grew up in the Boston area and has a BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She now happily lives and works in Portland, Maine. You can follow Maryann on Twitter @MCLeffler and on Instagram @maryanncoccaleffler.

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; She Persisted in Science: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference; 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

Gillian Flint ( is an illustrator who has a passion for painting in watercolors. She has been drawing and creating characters for as long as she can remember. Her work has been published in the USA, the UK and Australia. In her spare time she enjoys reading and gardening at her home in the UK. You can follow her on Instagram @gillianflint_illustration.

Alexandra Boiger ( has illustrated nearly twenty picture books, including the She Persisted series by 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. You can follow Alexandra on Instagram @alexandra_boiger.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Philomel Books
Publication date
July 20, 2023
She Persisted
BISAC categories
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
JNF007100 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Sports & Recreation
JNF024070 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Physical Impairments
Library of Congress categories

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