This autobiographical picture book highlights the challenges and achievements of six-time Olympic medalist Pryce.
Young Shelly Ann, she tells us, is both tiny and fast, with big dreams of winning great races. It is her grandmother who first introduces her to the idea that she is “a promise.” Puzzled by this but hearing it from others, she runs. Running “to be free,” running “without fear,” Shelly Ann outpaces every competitor in her school-age years. As Pryce’s mother struggles to provide for her family, people in her community continue to validate the promise invested in her by her grandmother. Representing her country, Jamaica, Pryce realizes the promise that so many have recognized in her. “I was a promise to my country and to all who have supported me. A promise to myself and to all those who have loved me.” Writing with Rousseau, Pryce offers a text that’s accessible to new readers, repetition both underscoring her tirelessness and supporting decoding. Firmly outlined in black and opaquely colored, Moss’ images complement this moving story while highlighting both Pryce’s determination and the spirit of Jamaica, especially the support of a loving community (all depicted as black, like Pryce). Backmatter includes further facts about Pryce (athletic achievements and other activities) and a short biography.
A solid addition to the early biography shelf. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)