Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes

Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes
Age Range
Release Date
June 27, 2023
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Meet fifteen remarkable athletes who use adaptive equipment in this beautiful and truth-telling picture book.
A downhill skier whose blindness has sharpened her communication skills. An adaptive surfer who shreds waves while sitting down. A young man who excels at wheelchair motocross--but struggles with math. Tenacious tells their stories and more, revealing the daily joys and challenges of life as an athlete with disabilities.

These competitors have won gold medals, set world records, climbed mountain peaks, claimed national championships, and many more extraordinary achievements. Get to know them in Tenacious!

Editor review

1 review
In It To Win It!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Patty Cisneros Prevo, herself a paralympian basketball player, highlights fifteen athletes who have overcome challenges that many people do not face, in addition to the grueling training required to excel at their various activities. There is a shorter, rhyming story that continues throughout the book, as well as one page biographies of the athletes described. In addition to brief overviews of their careers, there is a "daily challenge" and "daily joy", which leads me to think that the author may have interviewed all of the subjects.

I enjoyed the fact that a variety of sports are presented, from dance, kayaking, wheelchair hiking, and mountain climbing to the more common basketball and soccer. There is also a range of disabilities from a variety of causes. All of the subjects had challenges to face, but found ways to not only come to terms with their situations but to constructively work with them to meet their goals.

Dion MBD's artwork is colorful and shows not only the athletes, but good details about their sports and the backdrops against which they play. I particularly liked the kayak picture; it showed such a sense of movement!
Good Points
Although there is a great list of preferred language and terminology and a timeline of the paralympic games, as well as resources, there is no further information about any of the individuals showcased. While some of the brief biographies list a date when the person competed, this lacks basic biographical information such as birth date, making this more difficult to use for research projects, but this is perfect as an inspirational text and overview.

While there are a lot of individual biographies and memoirs about disabled athletes, this is the first collective biography for younger readers that I have seen. Readers who want to know more about this topic would do well to check out A Sporting Chance : How Paralympics Founder Ludwig Guttmann Saved Lives with Sports by Alexander and Drummond. For coverage of lots of different athletes, there are lots of books, but usually few paralympians are covered. Some good ones are 100 Athletes Who Shaped Sports History by Jacobs, Women in Sports : the Complete Book on the World's Greatest Female Athletes by Layden, Kid Athletes : True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends by Stabler and Girls Race! : Amazing Tales of Women in Sports by Allen. I hope that we will begin to see more books about paralympians; Disabled Athletes: 21 Inspiring True Sports Stories by Adler is due to be published in July, 2025.
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