Title: The Ashe Brothers
Author: Judy Allen Dodson
Major Themes: Tennis, Sports, Vietnam War, Arthur Ashe
Synopsis: Arthur was very good at playing tennis; his brother Johnnie would do almost anything to see his older brother succeed.
A tennis champion? Not a person I normally read books about! Sports are just not my thing! However, I always enjoy picture book biographies, and so does my 7-year-old daughter. When I asked her, last evening, if she would like me to read her a couple of books that I had on my iPad for review, she cheered. She enjoyed hearing The Ashe Brothers and learning with me about two men that we had never heard of before.
When Arthur and Johnnie Ashe were young boys in Richmond, Virginia, they were not allowed to do many activities. Many places were marked “White Only,” but they could play at the tennis court in Brook Field Park! Arthur spent a lot of time playing tennis, and he became such a good player that by the time he was 15, he ranked the fifth-best player for his age group in the nation. He kept playing, even as he went on to University.
Both boys enlisted in the Armed Forces, and Johnnie went to Vietnam. He was determined to do everything he could to keep Arthur in a place where he could continue playing tennis. Sometimes this took great sacrifice on his part, but he loved his brother and wanted to see him win titles in tennis. When Arthur won, Johnnie cheered!
The Ashe Brothers is a beautiful story of the love that brothers can have for each other. I don’t particularly like stories about war, and there are some pictures of the Vietnam War which I could certainly do without, but I really loved the relationship between the two men. This is a lovely book for anyone who enjoys picture book biographies, or sports.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: There are two pictures of fighting in Vietnam.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12