Rafa Nadal

9788416733071. ea vol: 32p. (What Really Matters). Cuento de Luz. Apr. 2017. Tr. $16.95.
Gr 2–4—Written in a narrative style, each book in the series tackles the life of a real person who faced adversity and eventually discovered a "universal value." The story of Pablo Pineda is inspiring and engaging and candidly examines the fears his family expressed about him living with Down syndrome. Lopez Lomong's journey out of poverty and danger in Sudan and into a successful Olympic career is punctuated with violence and terror as well as love and support from far-off places. The title exploring the life of Rafa Nadal is arguably the weakest of the three, struggling with a lack of clear story structure, including unexplained characters who distract from the larger narrative describing his successful tennis career. The illustrations in each book are done by different artists in different media but are made similar by their oil pastel backgrounds, uniting the titles with a stylistic touch. The entries are honest though a little heavy-handed about the lessons imparted. Spanish-language editions are also available for each of the titles.
VERDICT Certainly not short on heart, these selections are recommended for specific topical studies or as general additions to biography collections.

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