Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson

by Sue Stauffacher

Other authorsGreg Couch (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2011





Dragonfly Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, 40 pages


A biography of Althea Gibson, the first black tennis player to ever compete in what is now known as the U.S. Open, and in the Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, England.

User reviews

LibraryThing member RebeccaMichelet
Before tennis, young Althea was a tomboy from Harlem. She used to play stickball, basketball, she ran fast, skipped class after recess, and played paddle tennis. Everyone would say she is, "nothing but trouble." One day, a local musician noticed she had talent, and so he introduced her to tennis. At first she had problems with how she was supposed to act, but she soon realized having an attitude affected her game. So she learned to use her anger to hit the ball harder, and then went on to win the Wimbledon Cup.… (more)
LibraryThing member conuly
It's always good for kids to read about flawed heroes. Nobody really, deep down, wants to read about some guy whose only "flaw" is that they didn't brush their teeth before breakfast.

Althea Gibson, as the title should make clear, has bigger flaws. As a kid, she was a petty thief. She didn't attend class. She stayed out late. And when she was given an opportunity and people fell all over themselves to help her, all she could do is say she didn't come to work on her *manners*, just her *sports*.

She is fun to read about, that's for sure. And the triumph of being the first black person to win a Grand Slam (along with her partner, the first Jewish person to do the same) is sweeter for all that we learn that working on her self control helped with that.

There's a nice afterword in the end with more information, including names of her own autobiographies.

The one thing about this book I'm not to sure of is the artwork. Throughout the book, Althea is drawn with a wave of rainbow colors around her and following her. It does convey movement and all... but it also looks a little strange. I'm not sure what I think about it yet.
… (more)
LibraryThing member carpeapr
“Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson.” This African American biography story of Althea Gibson’s life shows that someone does care regardless of the negativity around you. The author, Sue Stauffacher was able to show that before Althea became the first African American man or woman to ever compete and win the coveted Wimbledon Cup, she endured different struggles such as being looked upon as a tomboy and always up to trouble. One person was able to see possibility in Althea and her rough athleticism ways and turn it into something spectacular. Through great description and a background story in the book, shows that this is a good example of African American biographies.… (more)
LibraryThing member LauraMcQueen
This was a great story about a woman who changed tennis so that African Americans could also be respected in the sport. More than Althea making a difference though I think that this story does a great job of showing what believing in someone can do. Buddy Walker always believed in Althea even when no one else did and that made her want to work harder and be better. I think this would be a great message to share with students that you may not be the person making the biggest difference but you can make a small difference to one person and it still means a lot.… (more)
LibraryThing member chrisriggleman
This is one of the best illustrated books I have seen. I love the water colouring that surrounds Althea in the whole book. It is like her intensity, love for the game and attitude perfectly visualized. I like how she was helped by a jazz musician it blended together and is a fascinating fact about her life.
I like that she is super sassy and does things her own way. She finds out how to harness those feelings to make her a better tennis player. Through that she achieved an amazing feat.… (more)
LibraryThing member AleciaDesselle
Sue Stauffacher tells the story of Althea Gibson, the first African American ever to compete for and win a Wimbledon Cup. The reader learns that as a child Althea was considered "trouble." However, she had one person that truly believed in her and encouraged her to work hard at her gift. A beautiful book that can provide encouragement and hope in all children.… (more)
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This is an excellent picture book biography. I don't know that it's subject was reflected in such a positive light, but the research was thorough and the writing was strong.


Original language


Physical description

40 p.; 8.5 inches


0375865446 / 9780375865442


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