At only 12, Jesselyn “Jesszilla” Silva is in the ring to win Olympic gold, no matter how many hurdles get in her way.
Jess tells readers she knew she wanted to be a boxer from the age of 7. With too-big gear and fierce determination, Jess started down a road that will hopefully take her all the way to Olympic gold. Readers might think that the hardest part about being a girl boxer would be the uphill battle of proving herself tough enough, but while that can be a challenge, the bigger complication for Jess is simply finding other girls her age to fight. This is important, she tells readers, because Jess needs to be a registered boxer and to have fought in five registered bouts in order to qualify for the Junior Olympics, and sparring fights with boys her age don’t count. Jess is a smart, strong Latinx girl with a fierce determination, and readers will root through her wins and losses, ups and downs, all the way to the 2018 Junior Olympics. While the writing can be a bit uneven, young girls will be able to relate to Jess and will be inspired by her fighting spirit. Her loving relationship with her father and the support of her coach give an emotional weight to the story.
Readers will come away believing nothing is more important than knowing you have people in your corner. (Memoir. 9-12)