She Persisted: Simone Biles

Listening Library. (She ­Persisted). Oct. 2023. 42p. $10. ISBN 9780593745243.
Gr 1-4–National Book Award finalist Magoon grows her presence in the expanding chapter book adaptations of the original “She Persisted” series. Magoon’s Simone Biles follows her Ruby Bridges and precedes upcoming Naomi Osaka. Clinton reads her series introduction, a shout-out to the “sisterhood of writers” championing persistent women. Actor Martin gives softly determined voice to multi-Olympics champion Simone Biles’s journey from a difficult childhood to becoming the most decorated and famous gymnast in history. Martin slips with “masted” rather than “mastered” (a production glitch?), but remains otherwise committed and convincing, especially through Biles’s courageous decision to use her fame to speak out against inequity, abuse, and racism.
VERDICT As Biles’s unparalleled accomplishments continue beyond the page, young readers’ interest will only increase. Libraries should prepare for probable 2024 Summer Olympics–fueled demand.

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