A fresh, charming picture book that shows there are lots of ways to be STRONG.
Rob dreams of becoming a champion strongman. He wants to flip huge tires, lug boulders, and haul trucks -- and someday be the strongest man in the world! But he feels like he can’t fit in with his bright leggings, unicorn T-shirts, and rainbow-dyed hair. Will Rob find a way to step into his true self and be a champion?
With bold illustrations and an engaging, informative text, Strong introduces readers to Rob Kearney and his journey from an athletic kid trying to find his place to the world’s first openly gay professional strongman.
Rob Kearney is the only openly gay professional strongman in the world. He is a North American champion, world-record holder, and a Pro Ambassador for Athlete Ally. Rob finds strength in taking pride in himself, support from friends and family, and working hard every day to make his dreams come true. He lives in Massachusetts with his husband, Joey.
Eric Rosswood is an LGBTQ+ activist and the award-winning author of Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood and The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads. He believes being strong means being true to yourself and strives to do that every day by being the best dad, writer, and friend he can be. Eric lives in New York with his husband, Mat, and their two children.
Nidhi Chanani is the award-winning creator of the graphic novels Pashmina and Jukebox and the illustrator of many picture books, including I Will Be Fierce by Bea Birdsong. Rob’s story inspired her to start weightlifting, but she feels strongest when she is drawing, dreaming, and spending time with her family. Nidhi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and kid. She invites you to visit her online at everydayloveart.com.
"This happy, bright book helps break LGBTQ+ stereotypes and makes for a celebratory read during Pride Month—and all year long."—Booklist
"Real-life strongman Kearney and LGBTQ+ parenting expert Rosswood team up to create this positive, affirming picture-book memoir…. A bright, bold picture-book biography."—Kirkus Reviews
"The illustrations are vivid and dynamic. This is an important and unique topic told in an engaging narrative style, featuring a little-known sport, a great athlete, and an even greater story of ultimate sportsmanship."—SLJ
"Authors Kearney and Rosswood develop this picture book memoir about the world’s first openly gay strongman using emphatic text, while Chanani’s vivid hues emphasize Kearney’s bold aesthetic."—Publishers Weekly
"I love everything about STRONG!
The writing, the illustrations, and most of all, the message to be yourself. Rob is mighty, sturdy, and powerful. He is also insecure, self-conscious, and full of doubt. But when he falls in love with Joey, he finds the strength to come out and be himself. Wonderful writing, fabulous, illustrations, and meticulous research make this book, like Rob himself, a true winner
."—Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies and Sparkle Boy
"Rob Kearney is a Strongman and his story will show readers what being a strong man means. It means being honest. Being yourself. And being willing to let others know who you really are. Reading this book can help kids find their own personal strength
, too."—Rob Sanders, author of Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag and Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the Aids Memorial Quilt