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, 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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lucille Mulhall, Governor, the Congress of Rough Riders, and an Inauguration


I’ve been thinking about our upcoming change in government and this weekend’s Women’s March on Washington and cities across the country with thousands gathering to shine a light on women’s rights/human rights. Growing up I don’t recall learning about the suffragist movement, and I was a tad too young to remember the ERA and NOW marches of the 70s. But these past few years, as I have been reading about and learning about so many sporty girls not on my radar, I’m continually amazed to learn about trailblazers who have paved the way for girls and women to have the opportunities available today; some of these women are well-known and others deserve more recognition.

A big lasso of thanks goes to Heather Lang, author of the picture book THE ORIGINAL COWGIRL about a trailblazing cowgirl -- and no, it was not Annie Oakley. This fearless young Oklahoman, Lucille Mulhall, has the title of our country’s first cowgirl. She defied traditional activities like cooking and sewing, opting instead to train horses and herd cattle. It turns out this teenager had natural talent and drive for roping cattle. Fortunately, her father Colonel Mulhall recognized that quality and upon her return from boarding school, presented her with a sixteen hand chestnut horse named Governor. She also performed roping tricks for Teddy Roosevelt with the Congress of Rough Riders and Ropers. 

Now here’s a fascinating story this is covered in this book and also the Oklahoma Historical Society, Teddy Roosevelt met her and “legend has it he told her if she could rope a wolf, he would invite her to his inaugural parade. She came back three hours later dragging a dead wolf behind her.   

And I found this blog reference by noted cowboy author Jim Olson: “Legend has it that during the visit, Roosevelt went riding with Lucille and they spotted a grey wolf. This whetted Roosevelt’s appetite for a hunt. The wolf eluded them that day but Roosevelt told Lucille if she could catch the wolf, he would invite her to his inaugural parade. Some claim she later roped the wolf, then killed it, others say she shot it at five-hundred yards. But by all accounts, she sent the pelt to Roosevelt who displayed it in the White House after he and McKinley won the election. Lucille and family attended the inauguration, and Roosevelt reportedly gave her a saddle and an 1873 Winchester.”

Lucille went on to travel the country with a wild west show, Mulhall’s Congress of Rough Riders and Ropers, performing tricks and showcasing her shooting prowess. Here's one of my favorite lines from Lang’s book:  I felt sorry for the girls who have to attend so many teas and be indoors so much.” My sentiments, too!  

Societal change can take decades and certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s important to give all girls, like Lucille, opportunities to pursue their dreams and develop their talents. I know many sporty girls and women will be marching this weekend to honor and protect our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sporty Girl Books Coming in 2017

There are some awesome Sporty Girl Books coming out in 2017. If you know of any more, please add them in the comments! To make them easy for you to add to your TBR list, here is a link to all of these books on Goodreads Listopia


February


You Throw Like a Girl by Rachele Alpine

Release Date: February 14, 2016


Gabby's summer vacation isn't shaping up to be that great. Her dad was just deployed overseas, and Gabby is staying at her grandmother's house with her mom and baby sister until he returns. The one bright spot is that Gaby plans to sign up for the local softball league her greatest love and a passion she shares with her Dad who was a pitcher in college. But when Gabby goes to sign up for the summer league, she discovers that there wasn't enough interest to justify a girl's team this year. And to top it off, a horrible miscommunication ends with Gabby signed up to participate in the Miss Popcorn Festival the annual pageant that Gabby's mom dominated when she was younger. Besides not having any interest in the pageant life, Gabby made a promise to her dad that she would play softball for the summer. Since her pitching skills rival any boy her age, Gabby creates a master plan: disguise herself as a boy and sign up for the boy's baseball team instead and try to win the pageant to make Mom happy. Can Gabby juggle perfecting her pageant walk and perfecting her fastball? Or will this plan strike out?


Release Date: February 28, 2017

Garland, Derby, and Triple Clark spend each season traveling highways and byways in their Rambler until summer, when small-town Ridge Creek, Virginia, calls them back. There they settle in, selling burgers and fries out of Garland's Grill after each game the Rockskippers play in their battered minor-league baseball stadium. Derby's summer traditions bring her closer than she's ever been to a real home that isn't on wheels, but this time, her return to Ridge Creek reveals unwelcome news. Now the person Derby loves most in town needs her help and yet finding a way to do so may uncover deeply held stories and secrets.

March



Release Date: March 24, 2017

Sam Barrette's life is finally going in the right direction. She's made the boys' travel baseball team, her friendship with Mike is turning into something more, and she's even connected with her stepmother. But a cross-country family camping trip filled with secrets and surprises challenges everything she thought she knew about what the future will hold. To save her dreams, Sam must find a way to fix her perfect trip.

(Note - this book is by one of our sporty girl book bloggers!)


April



Release Date: April 4, 2017

The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship . . . and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country. But all their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn t want to end her career as a loser. She really enjoys playing, and if she's being honest, she likes it even more than running cross-country. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb? Or between her two best friends, who are counting on her to try out for cross-country with them? And will her parents be upset that she's decided to take her hobby to the next level? This summer Caleb and Tessa figure out just what it means to be a boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, best friend, and someone worth cheering for.



May


Release Date: May 9, 2017
If life were a baseball game, all-star pitcher Gabby Garcia would be having her Best. Season. EVER Until she's suddenly sent to another school and her winning streak is about to disappear both on and off the field. But Gabby never gives up She has a PLAN to keep her champion status intact, and every step of is written out PLAY by PLAY. How could it not work?


Release Date: May 16, 2017

It's spring, and school soccer season is back and so are the Kicks Devin is excited to be reunited with her teammates, and after they performed so well in the fall, she has high hopes for a championship win this time around. But it was easier being on the Kicks when nobody expected them to win. Now there are high expectations, and some of Devin's teammates are worried about living up to them. As the start of the season approaches, the girls begin to feel the pressure. Will the Kicks get their heads in the game in time to start the season right?




June



Release Date: June 20, 2017

Maya is a passionate soccer fan eager to start playing soccer herself. This is extra challenging because soccer is considered a "boys' game" in Malaysia in 1986. She teaches herself basic soccer skills with only her mother and a potted rosebush as training partners, then gradually persuades enough girls to join her to form a team, all the while trying to keep her unpredictable biracial family together. Reading Maya's witty, observant first-person narrative will make readers want her on their team, and they'll cheer her on as she discovers that winning is great—but losing doesn't mean defeat.



July


Release Date: July 18, 2017
A charmingly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Sports highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women athletes--fromwell-known figures like tennis player Billie Jean King and gymnast Simone Biles, to lesser-known athletes like skateboarding pioneer Patti McGee and Toni Stone, the first woman to play baseball in a men's professional league.
Covering more than forty sports, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about notable women's teams throughout history, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and muscle anatomy. Women in Sports celebrates the success of the tough, bold, and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of athletes.


August


Release Date: August 8, 2017
No description currently available.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Holidays with a heartwarming book: HAPPY LIKE SOCCER


The holidays are typically a happy occasion to spend quality time with family and friends. If you’re like my family – there’s always some competitive activity going on whether it was ice skating on the Pine River while growing up in Michigan, running a Christmas Town Dash, or taking a brisk walk after New Year’s dinner to “make room for dessert.” Participating in sports always makes me happy. HAPPY LIKE SOCCER is a picture book with marvelous watercolor illustrations and is a story about more than just a love of playing soccer. Sierra, the main character, doesn’t have family members able to come cheer her on at soccer games since her team plays in the suburbs far from where she lives in the city. Reading this made me recall my senior year in high school when (due to my father’s illness) my parents were absent most of the swim season. It was tough to glance at the bleachers from the starting block and see other parents cheering for their daughters but no one able to be there for me. I recall feeling very alone, and I had forgotten about that sad time until I read this book. In this story, Sierra lives with her Auntie who works at Café Garcia on Saturdays and can’t take time off to watch her games. One weekend, however, her boss allows her to switch shifts from Saturday to Sunday so she can attend her niece’s game, but darn luck would bring a storm that causes it to be canceled. What transpires after that, however, is an uplifting solution that brings to light the impact sports have on inner city neighborhoods and communities. Children of all backgrounds deserve to have an opportunity to play where they live and have access to safe playing fields. They also deserve to be cheered on by family members and neighbors and to hear their name called out as they dribble down the field, get a block on a shot, or score a goal. I highly recommend HAPPY LIKE SOCCER for a holiday read or gift for sporty girls who like soccer or any other sport.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Three Sporty Girl Books on the Connecticut Nutmeg Lists

I'm so excited to see that all three 2017 Connecticut Nutmeg Award Lists have sporty girl books. We have spoken about Roller Girl (Immediate List)  on this blog before, so today I'm going to introduce you to Queen of the Diamond (Elementary List) and A Time to Dance (Teen List). Both books are about girls that never let anyone stop them from following their dreams.



Queen of the Diamond is the true story of Lizzie Murphy.

Here's the blurb from IndieBound:
Lizzie Murphy was good at baseball. In fact, she was better than most of the boys. But she was born in 1900, and back then baseball was not a game for girls. Lizzie practiced with her brother anyway, and then she talked her way onto the local boys' team, first as a batboy, then as a player. Everyone was impressed by her hard catches and fast pitches. By the time she turned fifteen, she was playing for two different amateur boys' teams. When she turned eighteen, Lizzie did something else that women weren't supposed to do: she signed up with a professional baseball team, determined to earn her living playing the game.


Want to learn more about Lizzie Murphy? Here are some great articles about her baseball experience. 

Science of Baseball: Lizzie Murphy
Today I Found Out



I read A Time to Dance this summer and fell in love with this book.

Here's the blurb from IndieBound:
Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who's grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

Good luck to all three sporty girl books. If you are a kid in Connecticut, make sure to read your Nutmeg list so you can vote for your favorite in April!







Wednesday, November 23, 2016

RELENTLESS SPIRIT, Golden Goggles, Missy Franklin, and a New Swimsuit



Seems like we just welcomed the autumn equinox and already the holiday shopping season is officially upon us. Do you have any particular shopping habits? I have a tendency to get sidetracked while doing research and come across one link that leads to another and then I land on a website and buy something for myself OR I have been known to shop with this method: buy something for a friend or family member and then buy one for me. Which leads to my purchase of a Missy Franklin Signature Speedo swimsuit for myself. How did I get to this online purchase? Well, I’ll go backward to Tuesday morning and share my chain of thoughts/actions:

* Need to write an entry for Sporty Girl Books blog.

* Hmmm, are there any female sporting news or events happening around this time of the year? It's a little early for recommending holiday book picks, isn't it?

* Scanning my Twitter feed I see that Monday night, the Golden Goggle Awards were presented by the USA Swimming Foundation to honor outstanding U.S. swimmers and their achievements from this past year. Simone Manuel won Female Race of the Year – watching that "live" this past summer was incredible and I knew the historical victory would inspire so many girls who see themselves in Simone.

* Who were the other women winners? They were all deserving honorees: Elizabeth Beisel (Team Leadership), Lilly King (Breakout Swimmer of the Year) and Katie Ladecky (Female Swimmer of the Year).

* I recently reviewed a book by Missy Franklin and recall she won a few Golden Goggle honors. A quick reference check reveals she was awarded Female Athlete of the Year (2011, 2012) and Breakout Performer of the Year (2010).

 * I pause, get a coffee refill, and peruse my email and whaddya know, there’s a notice from Booklist Online so I check to see if my latest review has been published. Yep! The November 15, 2016 issue of Booklist has my review of RELENTLESS SPIRIT: THEUNCONVENTIONAL RAISING OF A CHAMPION by Missy Franklin and her parents, DA and Dick Franklin. This up-beat memoir by Missy along with her parents is inspirational and a thoughtful reflection on how - together as a family - they achieved a healthy balance in life and sports. It may be subtitled unconventional but it's a model that worked successfully for their family.
To read the Booklist review: www.booklistonline.com/

* I’m curious if Missy went to the Golden Goggles and what she’s up to so I check her Twitter feed.

* Interesting! SpeedoUSA has launched the “Missy Franklin Signature Series” of swimwear. So naturally, I’ve got to check ‘em out!

And, that’s how it happens . . . from deciding on a topic to writing a blog entry to buying a new swimsuit or the other way around. RELENTLESS SPIRIT is scheduled for release in early December – keep an eye out for it! And I guess it's not too early to share this as an ideal gift to give to a sporty girl or yourself - a book by a delightful, grounded role model raised by two extraordinary parents!