Stronger Than She Thinks
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In her first book for children, two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan shares scenes from her childhood as she learns how to work hard, to believe in herself, and to land her first axel jump.
Nancy (age 8) and her family sacrifice time, money, and effort into her clear skill, talent, and passion for figure skating. She’s really good at it, but money is tight while she’s learning to land the hardest of figure skating jumps—the axel. And she must be able to do one in order to go to her first competition.
Her skates are too small, her feet hurt, but try after try, she gets up off the ice and takes another turn around the ice until she finally lands that first (wobbly) axel and then lands it solidly at her first competition.
Persistence, hard work, and the importance of believing in yourself are highlighted in this story from the earliest moments of Nancy Kerrigan’s figure skating career.
From the author’s note:
From the earliest moments in my skating career, I faced obstacle after obstacle. But I kept trying. Every time I fell, I got back up. Every time I failed, I tried again. Every time someone told me no, I kept working until I earned a yes…. Eventually, I learned that I had more strength within me than I ever realized. And here’s great news—you’re stronger than you think, too.
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Nancy Kerrigan is a former professional figure skater and the U.S. Ladies' Figure Skating Champion in 1992. She also won a bronze medal at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics and a silver medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. Stronger than She Thinks is her first book for children.
Arief Putra is a trained architect that fell in love with storytelling illustration. He was born in Borneo Island, Indonesia in 1984, and spent his childhood living at the edge of a rainforest. He worked as an architect until a few years ago when he saw Pascal Campion’s art and instantly fell in love with storytelling illustration. He bought a drawing table, exposed himself to many other great artists’ work, and started practicing to become a better artist himself. Arief is now a full-time illustrator working from his home studio in Jogja City where he lives with his wife and 2 children. He is inspired greatly by his family and nature. It is his mission to spread positivity, joy, and compassion through his artwork.
Ryan G. Van Cleave wrote his first poem at age five, and he’s been writing, reading, and loving poetry ever since. He earned a Ph.D. in American Literature with an emphasis in poetry and has taught at numerous colleges and universities. Currently, he runs the creative writing major at Ringling College of Art and Design. As The Picture Book Whisperer, he helps celebrities and high-profile clients write picture books and kidlit projects.