Unsinkable : From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion
by Long, Jessica; Long, Hannah (CON)

1 The moment I won my first gold
2 The moment I became a Long
3 The moment I learned to walk with prostheses
4 The moment I discovered water
5 The moment I was surrounded by people like me
6 The moment I became a professional athlete
7 The moment I won an ESPY
8 The moment I failed
9 The moment I claimed my independence
10 The moment I first spoke to a crowd
11 The moment I first modeled
12 The moment I fell in love with swimming all over again
13 The moment I lost my confidence
14 The moment I found peace
15 The moment I returned home
16 The moment I returned to Russia
17 The moment I met my Russian family
18 The moment I finally won gold in Rio
19 The moment I accepted me
Photo Credits107(2)
Photo Gallery109

The champion Paralympic swimmer presents an inspirational photographic memoir that describes her birth in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, her adoption from a Russian orphanage at 13 months and the big and small life events that marked her rise to the second most decorated U.S. Paralympic athlete of all time. 25,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Jessica Long started swimming competitively at age ten, and she earned three gold medals for the U.S. Paralympic Team in Athens, Greece, at age twelve. She has since won thirteen Paralympic gold medals and has established herself as a positive role model. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLong and on Instagram at @jessicatatianalong.

*Starred Review* This is the photo-illustrated autobiography of an extraordinary young woman who was born in Russia, adopted by an amazing family in Maryland, had both legs amputated below the knee due to a birth defect, and found her passion in swimming, becoming a professional athlete who won 23 medals (13 gold) over a career that spanned 16 years and 4 Paralympics. She's also an inspirational speaker, fashion model, and ESPY Award winner, but still manages to come across as completely approachable, down-to-earth, and extremely grateful for the support and opportunities that have come her way. Jessica Long tells her story through short chapters devoted to self-defined life-changing moments, with an engaging narrative helped along by plenty of family and professional photos. Her strong love and appreciation for her family shines through (her sister, Hannah, is her coauthor), as does her devotion to her Christian faith (there's no proselytizing, just casual references to her belief and its impact on her daily life). Long also tells of being reunited with her biological family in Russia, and how this brings additional joy into her life. Unique in its coverage of Paralympians, and inspirational on so many levels, this is a great addition for middle-school collections. Grades 5-7. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

In a series of "moments," Paralympic swimmer Long describes how she became "the second-most decorated Paralympian of all time." "I've never been good at listening to people. They always seem to tell me what I can't do," writes Long, setting the theme for her informative—if somewhat disorganized—discussion of sports, family, physical disability, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Christianity. Born in Siberia with fibular hemimelia, a condition that later necessitated the amputation of her legs, Long was adopted into an American family that encouraged her love of swimming. ("God had a plan for that little Russian orphan," she concludes.) The youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic swim team at age 12, she went on to compete in the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympic Games. Her acceptance into a "second family" of other amputees after growing up without disabled peers will resonate with readers who also desire camaraderie with others like themselves. Th ough Long's disdain for physical or emotional weakness borders on cliché, the sacrifices her grueling training requires—and her desire to make them worthwhile—provide sympathetic context for her aversion to "giving in." The book's bright color scheme is occasionally hard on the eyes; blues and reds in the accompanying photos are intense, and white text on yellow and sky blue backgrounds blurs the first page of each chapter. Long and her family present white. Even readers who are not sports enthusiasts will appreciate Long's upbeat account of finding confidence in the water and in life. (Memoir. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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