This middle-grade, non-fiction book is about the epic filly, Rachel Alexandra, who in 2009 became the only three-year-old filly to ever win Horse of the Year. Although this book is about a horse, it is also, more fundamentally, about how a strong female, supported by a group of people who believe in her, can excel despite heavy odds against her.
Rachel Alexandra, a no-name horse with no particularly fancy pedigree, showed the world that fillies can beat males, even males twice their age. In the process, Rachel Alexandra won the adoration and respect of new fans — especially young girls and their mothers — across the nation. This book is important to those readers because it is a tale of a large, powerful, muscular female athlete who did not let anything stand in her way. She ran her way and she ran the boys down.
My local paper Champaign-Urbana News Gazettereviewed my book and that made me really happy! Especially since it was my friend and colleague, Ruth Siburt, who wrote the review: Deb Aronson of Urbana is one fresh voice in the world of middle-grade nonfiction. Her debut book, “Alexandra the Great,” is a 2017 release from Chicago Review Press. “Alexandra” tells the story of filly Rachel Alexandra’s rise through difficult circumstances to world fame.
This is a wonderful book about one of the great stories in American sports. It is one for readers from pre-teens who will love it because it is exciting and easy to read, to adults who will love it because it is exciting and takes them deeply into the realistic world of high-level racing via this rags-to-riches drama….Don’t know much or care much about racing? Doesn’t matter. You will as you read through this book, which you will probably not want to put down or put down only because you might want to savor it….This book did what all good books do; it takes you there and, in this case, rubs your nose in the mud of an off-track or helps you fly down the stretch of a fast surface as if you were the jockey piloting this champion and not just the reader. When I finished this fine book, I indeed felt like I was racing more than reading. Hop on board.
Here is another very positive review – This one in the El Paso Times.The reviewer says:
“Alexandra the Great is a book that will move readers and will help people understand just how great Rachel Alexandra was” and “Now that the Triple Crown is upon us, this is a good time to reflect on horse racing history…”
VOYA, a YA book trade publication, had this to say about Alexandra the Great:
Aronson does an amazing job of combining knowledge of the sport, interviews with experts, and perfect descriptions of action to create a story that even readers with little interest in the sport will love.Readers who have no knowledge of horse racing will learn from the behind-the-scenes details and interviews with the people who worked closest with Rachel Alexandra. Packed with action scenes, Aronson’s biography shows how truly exciting the world of horse racing can be, using the story of the record-breaking filly who beat all the boys.