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.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Review: MY 13th SEASON by Kristin Roberts

Published by Henry Holt in 2005, this book jumped out at me on the MG shelves. A girl determined to beat the odds, to play with the boys, to be the best, battling even her coach. Yes, please!

From Goodreads

Fran Cullers is having a horrible summer. She was a star player on the Little League team in her old town, so the Highwater Hardwares should be thrilled to have her--except that they hate girls. Fran can run rings around these guys, but they won't even give her a chance. So she sets out to teach them a lesson. But Fran finds out that vengeance is a dangerous thing. Her best friend stops talking to her. Her childhood hero gives up on her. And Fran, who has already faced some terrible losses, is about to lose the most important thing in her life forever--baseball. Can she pull her game together before it's too late?

This is a quick read, at 154 pages. I can easily see Fran. She's me at 13, but even tougher. She's also independent, not looking to others to solve her problems,and trying to determine what dreams she can hold onto and what dreams she has to let go. It' a touching, powerful story of loss, recovery, and the choices me make.

At times, I felt the coach was a bit over the top sexist and racist, so he read a little flat to me, but Fran and her father, they were very much 3 dimensional. Fran goes through a hitting slump and I couldn't help but think of my hitting slump at 13. I totally related to her fear and dread of being at the plate and celebrated with her when she conquered it.

This story has a rather satisfying climax and resolution that made my heart happy and had me rooting for not only Fran, but all the Highwater Hardwares players.

I hope you'll give Fran and MY 13th SEASON a read!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sporty Girl Video of the Week: Jordyn Wieber: Four Years Later

In this video about Olympic gold medal gymnast Jordyn Wieber we get an inside look at the regulations determining pro v. amateur/college competition. The conversation about fairness from sport to sport is extremely interesting and shows the difference between sports where the peak window is limited and sports where players can make money for an extended period of time.  Who are you following on the Road to Rio?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review: Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

I recall learning about Mary Garber several years ago when I joined the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and read about their highest award named in her honor. I should have known about Garber from my college days, and maybe I did but simply forgot, but now thanks to one of my favorite picture book authors, Sue Macy, more readers will become familiar with this inspirational pioneer. 

To begin one has to go back to 1944, well before Erin Andrews, Leslie Visser or Christine Brennan became household names, when women went to work in factories and businesses to fill in for men who were off fighting in WWII. Garber, who discovered a passion for sports (especially baseball and football) at a young age, was writing for a newspaper and moved to the sports department to fill the staffing void.  Her work was well received and she was assigned back to the sports desk after the war ended. She covered sports legends such as her role model, Jackie Robinson, and non-traditional events like Soap Box Derby races. In 1986, she retired and in 2008 was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. 

The media plays a critical role in shaping how we view and perceive each other.  Garber is credited for bringing equality to sports reporting—a great athlete is a great athlete just as a well-written sports story (written by a man or woman) can inspire girls as well as boys. A groundbreaker, Garber paved the way for female reporters to gain equal access to locker rooms to interview athletes. 

Once again Macy has contributed to preserving the legacy of another sporty girl. Garber was a “tiny bit of a girl” who played quarterback for her Buena Vista Devils and followed her passion becoming one of our first women sports reporters. Her life story serves as an example for girls, who not only like to play sports but also document the drama and action, to choose a career in sports media.

I have also been a fan of award-winning illustrator C.F. Payne since I read Brave Harriet which he illustrated. His work has a timeless Norman Rockwell feel that compliments the text. 

Cool! Fans can also “Like” MISS MARY REPORTING on the book's Facebook page!