Champion by Ash Barty

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Ash Barty’s memoir My Dream Time: A memoir of tennis and teamwork first appeared in 2022 and in the following year a Young Reader’s Edition was published which will definitely appeal to many of Ash Barty’s legion of young fans. This highly accessible and relatable non-fiction novel begins with a contents page and pre-Chapter One is a timeline of Ash’s journey from 2016 when she was ranked #623 to being the World’s #1 female tennis player from 2019-2022.

In Ash’s trademark friendly and personable manner, she talks about her journey from her birth in 1996 to her retirement in 2022 after winning the Australian Open. Throughout Ash’s story, she is open and honest about her struggles with her mental health, body image, self-doubt, her fragmented schooling, loneliness on tour in her early years as well as the debilitating homesickness she suffered. Ash shares with her readers the proud story of her First Nations heritage and the amazing support she has had from her wonderful family, her coaches such as Jim Joyce, Jason Stoltenberg and Craig Tyzzer, and two of her incredible mentors and friends: Casey Dellacqua and Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

As well as reading about Ash Barty’s story, this book provides the opportunity for readers to learn about many of Ash’s memorable matches and how she was feeling at the time, her opponents, and what was happening behind the scenes. With support and understanding from her incredible team, Ash was able to overcome injuries, self-doubts and achieve so much.

Ash Barty: Champion is an outstanding and inspirational autobiography and worthy of a place in all school and public libraries.

Themes: Tennis, Family, Career, First Nation Heritage, Motivation, Mental Health, Resilience, Belief, Teamwork, Friendship.

Kathryn Beilby