Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Upcoming: 45th Anniversary of Title IX


I’m thinking ahead to June 23, which is not only Olympic Day but also the 45th anniversary of the passage of Title IX. This groundbreaking legislation was signed into law as part of the Higher Education Act by then President Nixon. Its impact has been far-reaching and positive for girls in our country by prohibiting discrimination and ensuring fair and equal access and opportunity:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

It’s important to note this Civil Rights legislation is not only for sports but all federally funded educational opportunities. A statistic that demonstrates it’s impact on girls sports: before 1972 only one in 27 girls played high school sports and today that number has increased to two in five.  With that said, there’s still work to be done as noted per the video link at the end of this post from Olympic soccer star, Julie Foudy.

While there are several websites and go-to resources, my recommendation for anyone wanted a primer to understand this gender equity issue is to begin with The Women’s Sports Foundation on Title IX (primer, myths and facts). Also, Nancy Hogshead-Maker (attorney, three-time Olympic Gold medalist in swimming) founded the nonprofit organization, ChampionWomen: Advocacy for Girls & Women in Sports, which serves as another resource.

Here are a few books about Title IX. Unfortunately, a quick check of copyright and it’s clear several are outdated, but they offer a historical overview of this landmark legislation.

Encyclopedia of Title IX and Sports by Nicole Mitchell (2007)

Equal Play: Title IX and Social Change by Nancy Hogshead-Makar and Andrew Zimbalist (2007)

Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women's Sports Revolution by Deborah Brake (2010)

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal (2005)
Check out: Sporty Girl Books post from September 13, 2016

A Place on the Team: the Triumph and Tragedy of Title IX by Welch Suggs (2005)

Playing for Equity by Diane LeBlanc and Allys Swanson (2016)

Title IX by Linda Jean Carpenter (2004)

 Video:  The next steps for Title IX per Julie Foudy from Positive Coaching Alliance.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: Elly and the Smelly Sneaker


Today I am excited to review a new fractured Cinderella tale, Elly and the Smelly Sneaker.

Here's the blurb:

Elly has everything a girl could desire: bonbons, pretty clothes, maids to put everything in order, and a family that treats her like a princess. Except that, to her, life's a boring, royal pain. All Elly really wants is to be with other kids--especially when they play baseball. She dreams of opening days, double plays, and joining the team. Then, one day, her fairy godfather arrives to make her wish come true. Will Elly FINALLY succeed in trading her glass slippers for a pair of smelly sneakers? 

My review:

I love this book! First, it's nice to see a Cinderella character that isn't being mistreated for a change. Elly's family is kind and caring and wants to give her everything money can buy. But all Elly wants is to be out with the other kids playing baseball. How can you not adore a Cinderella like that? The illustrations in the book are fun and add to the action. This book is perfect for any teacher looking to add a fractured fairy tale to a classroom library. It will also be enjoyed by kids (and adults) of all ages who want to see Cinderella ditch the glass slipper for something more practical and fun.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Soccer Sisters Play it Forward Project


Soccer Sisters is a great new middle grade series by Andrea Montalbano. I was lucky to get an early copy of the first book and I can tell you that it will be a big hit among a number of soccer players I know, as well as with kids who don't play soccer but love reading sports stories. Sourcebooks is celebrating the release by holding a play it forward contest. See details below:


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins

Baseball stories, especially middle grade ones, bring me back to learning to play baseball by my amazing mom who pitched on an all-boys team growing up. She was tough and amazing and I strive daily to be like her.

Yesterday I read A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins (out Feb 2017). Everything about this story took me to the ballpark, and most especially, took me into the main character Derby's heart. As a rambler, moving in town to town depending on the season, I yearned for her to have a home, to have a place not on wheels. This is a well-crafted story with the wonderful little details that truly bring a story to life. All the characters were as big as life (and their names are fabulous. The only typical name is Peter the turtle!). I would have loved to be there for Rally Day, to splash in the creek, to make friends of my enemies, to race a turtle, to watch the sweetness of the 5th inning grounds run, and to taste those sweet potato fries.

Congratulations to Carter on a wonderful debut. I'm looking forward to more amazing stories from you. I'm on the hunt for a 2017 penny to make my wish.

From Goodreads: Eleven-year-old Derby Christmas Clark is a rambler of the road. She travels year-round in an RV with her father and younger brother, selling Christmas trees during the cold months and burgers and fries during baseball season. Derby always did prefer grease splatters to hauling trees, so she’s excited that summer will take her back to small town Ridge Creek, the Rockskippers, her best friend, and her surrogate mom, June. But this summer, a tragedy has changed Ridge Creek—and as Derby tries to help those she loves, long-held secrets are revealed. This warm-hearted southern debut is perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage.

I also wanted to give a shoutout to our wonderful Stacy Mozer! Today is the release of The Perfect Trip! It's the second in her Sweet Spot series about baseball. Congrats Stacy!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fearless Flyers Like Mary Jennings Hegar and Ruth Law


I just logged onto the Williamsburg Public Library to reserve a copy of the new memoir, SHOOT LIKE A GIRL by Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, a recipient of the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device who served three tours in Afghanistan flying Combat Search and Rescue plus Medevac missions. I couldn’t help but think about how far female pilots have come since the turn of the 19th century and era of aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, and Ruth Law.

Most readers are familiar with Earhart’s accomplishments like flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Having lived in Chicago for many years, I was well aware of Coleman who was the first African American female pilot and is honored at O’Hare Airport. I was not familiar with Law, however, until I read about her gutsy flight from Chicago to New York in Heather Lang’s well-researched picture book biography, FEARLESS FLYER.

Is aviation a sport?  Well, some might argue not, but at the turn of the 19th century, a variety of air sports events were held throughout the country.  Who was Ruth Law? She was a trailblazing aviation pioneer (1887-1970) who performed daredevil tricks like spiral dives and challenged stereotypes by participating in acrobatic and altitude competitions. She bought her first airplane in 1912 from none other than Orville Wright and refused to let society's barriers hold her back from her ambitions.

FEARLESS FLYER highlights her most noteworthy accomplishment of a nonstop flight record of flying a biplane from Chicago to Hornell, New York. It was a blustery day on November 19, 1916, when she took off from Chicago’s Grant Park for this one day trip that was met with several unexpected challenges. One of my favorite illustrations in the book by acclaimed artist Raúl Colón is when she circled her plane around the Statue of Liberty. I learned that she wanted to use her skills as a pilot to fight for her country during World War I but the U.S. government did not allow women in combat roles and a bill was even introduced to allow this but was rejected.

This historically significant book is inspirational and includes photographs and additional biographical notes, plus several quotes like this one at the end that I jotted down in my journal: 
The sky was my limit and the horizon my sphere. It’s any woman’s sphere if she has nerve and courage and faith in herself. She's got to have faith in herself. 

For more information, check out Heather Lang Books



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Valentine's Day Treat: Sporty Girl Romance Novels

It's Valentine's Day so let's talk romance - and sports. Here are some of my favorite reads if you are looking for a sporty girl book with some love mixed in.

Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin
Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents' plans for her future, it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away...

Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.

The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She's sneaking out to practice-and loving every minute of it. It doesn't take long for her to fall in love with hockey and Jake's not half bad either. But she knows it can't last. As soon as her dad finds out, she'll be benched. For good.


Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.
But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?



Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Lacopelli
Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech, right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break.



Hooked by Liz Fichera

When Native American Fredricka 'Fred' Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school's golf team, she can't say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred's presence on the team isn't exactly welcome -- especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred. But there's no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...







Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek's counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else's family drama. 

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. So when her older sister comes home after abandoning her ten years earlier, with her hot new stepson in tow, Ashtyn wants nothing to do with either of them. Then she comes up with a plan that would finally give "her" the chance to leave, but it requires trusting Derek-someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and get the future she wants?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Brene Brown and Wholehearted Living

I've recently discovered Brene Brown by her Ted Talk on Shame, and went to the library and checked out 3 of her books. I've read The Gifts of Imperfection. I'm reading Daring Greatly right now. Women (and men) of all ages could learn and grow from learning to let go of Perfection, a world that doesn't exist, and becoming someone who accepts imperfection and can find joy.

She has many Ted talks and youtube videos, but here's a short one to give you a taste of Brene. I hope you'll give her a chance. I'm learning to be more authentic, and I am accepting myself more.
I am enough. And so are you. No matter what you've accomplished today.