The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk + A Chance to Win a Signed Copy.

Today I am pleased and excited to feature a new book by Author Rachelle Burk on Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles. Here’s Rachelle:

The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk (illustrated by Steffi Waltham) is an illustrated chapter book about “The Greatest Gymnast of All Time.” Simone has won more world medals than any other gymnast in history. She went from a life of poverty and foster care to one of Olympic stardom. How did she do it? Her inspiring story demonstrates that through motivation, hard work, and believing in oneself, we can achieve more than we ever dreamed possible.

When Rockridge Press, an imprint of Callisto Media, contacted me early this year to ask if I might be interested in writing Simone’s story as part of their growing children’s biography series, I jumped (and twirled and flipped) at the chance. I was particularly excited about this project because the gymnast left me agape with her performance at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro. It was a joy learning about her extraordinary life during the research process. Simone is a perfect role model for young people in ways that extend far beyond her gymnastics star status. 

Although there are quite a few other children’s books about Simone Biles, this is the only chapter book biography for new readers (K-2). It is perfect for classroom use because it includes extras such as timelines and a family tree, thought questions that make Simone’s experiences relatable to the reader, “myth and fact” callouts, a fun who, what, when, where, why, how quiz to test aid in reading comprehension, and a glossary with definitions of new vocabulary words which are highlighted throughout the book.

The writing timeline was short, with a publication target date just 5 weeks after the 2020 Tokyo summer games. I finished most of the book by the end of March, but I would be writing the final chapter after the Olympics in August. The last chapter was to highlight Simone Biles’s anticipated winning performance and even more medals.

Who could have imagined that a global pandemic would cancel the Tokyo summer games! Simone made the difficult decision to put off her retirement and train for another year, now setting her sights on 2021. My publisher consequently had a big decision to make: Do we postpone the book release for another year? The ultimate decision was to write the final chapter to reflect the reality of the 2020 pandemic for Simone and the other athletes. The book was released on schedule September 29th. Fingers crossed that the rescheduled games will happen next summer!

It appears that Simone and her story have already inspired some young readers as shown in these photos taken by Rachelle:

The book is available at

Rachelle is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book. Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the random drawing. Share the post on FB, Twitter or other social media and get a second chance to win. The winner will be announced at a later date on this blog.

RACHELLE BURK writes fiction and nonfiction for children ages 3 to 13, including picture books Don’t Turn the Page!The Best Four Questions, and the award-winning biography Painting in the Dark: Esref Armagan, Blind Artist, and middle grade science-adventure novel The Walking Fish (National Science Teachers Association award). Her next book, Twenty Fearless Feminists: A Children’s Book Celebrating Bold Women (for ages 3-5) will be released in early 2021. Find out more about her books and school visits at  


3 thoughts on “The Story of Simone Biles: A Biography Book for New Readers by Rachelle Burk + A Chance to Win a Signed Copy.

  1. I love gymnastics! I don’t know how they do all that they do, They are so strong and so limber. She is a great gymnast. Another favorite gymnast of mine is Mary Lou Retton. Congratulations and good luck on your book.

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