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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cover Reveal: Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin

We are so excited to be able to show off the new cover for Kristine Carlson Asselin's Any Way You Slice It

About the book: 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.

She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.

With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?


And now for the big reveal!




Any Way You Slice It will rerelease in November. If you are in the Littleton, MA area, you can celebrate with the author at Valley Wild Books.  

Can't be there? Celebrate at home with this wonderful pizza dessert recipe:


ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT
Penelope’s Dessert Pizza

PIZZA CRUST
*1 can(s) crescent rolls
1/4 c butter, cold
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c flour
pinch of salt
GLAZE
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, soft
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1-1 1/2 Tbsp milk

*Penelope would have you know that using a pre-made dough is cheating. But some of us can’t stay up past midnight to pound out the dough like she can. So we happily use pre-made dough.

Directions
1.     Preheat oven to 400.
2.     First things first, roll out the crescent rolls into 8 triangles—be sure to use an ungreased cookie sheet. These babies are pre-greased so you don’t need anything else.
3.     Cut in the butter to the mixture of sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour to form crumbles. Use a fork or a pastry blender or your fingers! Be sure the butter is COLD for best results. Try not to eat too much of the crumble, but it will be tempting. Licking fingers is excusable.
4.     Sprinkle the dough with crumbs and throw those bad boys into the oven for 8 to 12 minutes.
5.     After it all cools, cut into smaller triangles and drizzle with glaze.
6.     And now the fun part: EAT and Enjoy!


If you make these, take a picture and post with #AnyWayYouSliceIt and don’t forget to tag @KristineAsselin w/ all your pizza photos. To learn more about Kristine and her books, visit her online.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Sporty Girl New Releases

In January we gave you a list of Sporty Girl Books coming out in 2017 but we were only able to find books from Jan - August. Here are three more to add to your list.

Recently Released

Patina by Jason Reynolds

A newbie to the track team, Patina must learn to rely on her teammates as she tries to outrun her personal demons in this follow-up to the National Book Award finalist Ghost by New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds.









November



Figure skating icon and U.S. National Champion Karen Chen tells the amazing story of her rise to the top, featuring never-before-seen photos and behind-the-scenes details from her journey on and off the ice!









December



Martha’s mom has banned her from playing soccer, and it’s up to Agatha Parrot to find a way to get her back into the game. Meanwhile, Agatha’s big brother, James, receives an email from an unknown girl, and Agatha intervenes to start a correspondence on his behalf. When she discovers the girl’s love of spelling might hold the secret to helping Martha get permission to play soccer, the emails turn very warm indeed. Several forged emails—and a few spelling tests—later, will Martha get to play in the big game? And what will happen when Agatha’s unknowing correspondent meets the real James? 




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.

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.