Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes, from Debut Author Patty Cisneros Prevo

Lee and Low Books, the largest children’s book publisher in the United States specializing in diversity, announced today the release of nonfiction children’s picture book Tenacious: Fifteen Adventures Alongside Disabled Athletes from debut author and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Patty Cisneros Prevo.

Tenacious follows fifteen remarkable athletes, both adults and children, who use adaptive equipment in their everyday lives, and reveals the daily joys and challenges of life as an athlete with disabilities. A downhill skier whose blindness has sharpened her communication skills, an adaptive surfer who shreds waves while sitting down, a young man who excels at wheelchair motocross—but struggles with math. These competitors have won gold medals, set world records, climbed mountain peaks, claimed national championships, and many more extraordinary achievements. 

“As an elementary teacher and (at the time) new parent, I started noticing the lack of children’s books with disabled characters,” says author Patty Cisneros Prevo. “When I intentionally searched for these books with disabled characters, there were very few. I have met so many incredible people throughout my life, especially during my time as a Paralympian, and I felt that these people needed to be known and celebrated as main characters.”

This book is one of the few illustrated non-fiction children’s books that features disabled athletes and celebrates their stories. The vibrant illustrations in the book, by Dion MBD, create an engaging snapshot of every athlete in action. Tenacious was written with the intention to help give parents, caregivers, librarians, and educators the tools to introduce disabilities and inclusion to their children at a young age. It shares the message that it doesn’t matter what you perceive as limitations—if you display tenacity and work hard to achieve your goals, there is nothing that can deter you. 

“There are so many stereotypes and microaggressions used toward disabled individuals because people are afraid of what they don’t know,” says Cisneros Prevo. “It’s important that children learn about others who may be different from them, and different doesn’t mean ‘bad.’ Different is just different, and we should celebrate that diversity.”

Tenacious was released today,  June 27, 2023, through Lee & Low Books and is available on Indiebound/BookshopBarnes & Noble, and Amazon. The manuscript of the picture book received the 2018 Lee & Low New Voices Award Honor, an award presented by Lee & Low for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color or Indigenous/Native writer.

For more information or to arrange an interview with the author, please contact Erika Sanchez

erika@braidcommunications.com or Yhanna Basora Gomez



Here is what early reviewers are saying about the book:

Booklist, starred review – “This upbeat offering promises profiles of 15 disabled athletes but delivers even more. . . Readers will come away with an enhanced understanding of the scope of adaptive sports (BMX, surfing, CrossFit) and great respect for these dedicated, tenacious athletes.”


Kirkus Reviews – “MBD’s expressive, energetic portraits of athletes in motion, overlaid by brief, italicized rhyming text, nearly fill each single-page profile. . . Each spread provides more biographical details and includes quotes from the subjects, who share their daily joys and challenges. . . An eclectic, encouraging lineup.”


Blurb By Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, Paralympic medalist and disability activist – “This is precisely the book I dreamed of growing up as a young girl with a disability. It shows what is possible to achieve and acknowledges the very real hard points, while fostering and supporting healthy, positive disability identity development.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patty Cisneros Prevo is a first-generation Latina, writer, two-time Paralympic gold medalist, and proud mom and partner. She also works as the University of Wisconsin Health Program Manager of DEI. Her manuscript for Tenacious won the 2018 Lee & Low New Voices Award Honor and marks her debut as an author. Learn more about her at pattycisnerosprevo.com


ABOUT LEE & LOW BOOKS: Established in 1991, Lee & Low Books is the largest children’s book publisher in the United States specializing in diversity and has been a leader in the movement for diversity in children’s publishing for over 30 years. Visit leeandlow.com to learn more.

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