Inspired by the superwomen he saw on the television during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Phillip Marsden’s latest book is a shout-out to those ladies bossing their sports and whose success and influence often extends far beyond the sporting world.
What do Ariarne Titmus, Naomi Osaka, Jade Jones and Elaine Thompson-Herah have in common? Gold medal to you if you knew that they all achieved success within their chosen sporting field. Once upon a time though, they were just like you…a young child with a dream. And when you have a dream, are willing to work hard and never give up, then nothing is impossible…
Bang-up-to-date, including several stars from the delayed 2020 Olympics, Boss Ladies of Sport is a fabulous non-fiction read featuring twenty-eight female athletes from a variety of sporting arenas. Packed with girl power, determination and positive attitude, Boss Ladies of Sport will empower and inspire children, especially girls, to strive to achieve their dreams be it on the track, the field, the water or in another domain.
Presented in alphabetical order, each athlete gets their own page complete with full colour illustration against their nation’s flag, a quote and a few lines of informational text. Instantly recognisable names of Ash Barty, Katie Ledecky and Simone Biles are introduced alongside the lesser-known names of Yusra Mardini, a refugee with an incredible backstory and who represented the Refugee Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020, and Beatrice ‘Bebe’ Vio, a fencer who retrained as a wheelchair fencer after losing her arms and legs to illness.
Each athlete delivers their own inspirational message - harnessing disappointment, working hard, striving to get better, not holding back, never giving up, learning from your mistakes, setting goals - and I could easily see these being displayed around a school, a sports training centre or a child choosing their favourite ones to stick on their bedroom wall. Children need to know that anything is possible and the women featured do this perfectly! In the words of world-record-breaking Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas, ‘The sky is the limit.’
With huge thanks to Hachette and Lothian Children’s Books for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 6+.