Get Set! Swim!

By School Library Journal

A winning story of competition, perseverance, and pride in accomplishment. Jessenia’s swim team is slated for its first away meet and she’s nervous. Accompanying the girls on the bus, Jessenia’s mother reminisces about her homeland of Puerto Rico, its brilliant blue skies, the expansiveness of the ocean. During her first competition, Jessenia loses concentration when she recalls her mother’s comments and does not win first place. However, with her coach’s encouragement and her mother’s support, she finds the strength to win her last race. A gift from her mother brings her thoughts back to Puerto Rico and her heritage. With increased confidence in her abilities, Jessenia vows, “We’ll be back!” The realistic, double-page watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, predominantly in warm blues and greens, depict a multicultural swim team and their African-American coach. The actions of the swimmers, the cheering crowd, and the closeness of Jessenia’s family are aptly portrayed. A good choice that nicely fills the void of picture books about girls involved in team sports.