As Sally Ride and Marian Wright Edelman both powerfully said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” When Sally Ride said that, she meant that it was hard to dream of being an astronaut, like she was, or a doctor or an athlete or anything at all if you didn’t see someone like you who already had lived that dream. She especially was talking about seeing women in jobs that historically were held by men.
I wrote the first She Persisted
and the books that came after it because I wanted young girls—and children of all genders—to see women who worked hard to live their dreams. And I wanted all of us to see examples of persistence in the face of different challenges to help inspire us in our own lives.
I’m so thrilled now to partner with a sisterhood of writers to bring longer, more in-depth versions of these stories of women’s persistence and achievement to readers. I hope you enjoy these chapter books as much as I do and find them inspiring and empowering.
And remember: If anyone ever tells you no, if anyone ever says your voice isn’t important or your dreams are too big, remember these women. They persisted and so should you.
Warmly,Chelsea ClintonTABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: California Girl
Chapter 2: Science and Sports
Chapter 3: Dreams Can Change
Chapter 4: Space Woman
Chapter 5: After the Landing
Chapter 6: Swinging on a Star
How You Can Persist
References Chapter 1California Girl
Sally Kristen Ride was born a California girl. She loved the taste of the sun on her face and wind in her hair. She was smart and sassy. She was energetic and strong. She was a diehard Los Angeles Dodgers fan, dreaming of one day playing shortstop for them. Sally did not grow up wanting to be an astronaut, but life would lead her down a path of hard work, luck and privilege that would eventually make her the first American woman in space.
Copyright © 2021 by Atia Abawi with introduction by Chelsea Clinton; illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.