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, June 23, 2015

Sporty Girl News: France's Melissa Mayeux Becomes First Female to Make the MLB International Registration List

We posted this yesterday on our Facebook page, and the news was so exciting that we thought we'd post it again here on the blog. Melissa Mayeux is a 16 year-old shortstop on the French U-18 Junior National Team. Major League Baseball in the USA has added Mayeux to the International Registration List. This doesn't mean that she is going to get signed by an MLB team but only those on the list can be signed.

In the video, Mayeux says that she hopes to continue to play baseball as long as possible staying in France until she's 18 and then looking for a University or other opportunity abroad.

At Sporty Girl Books we are thrilled that the MLB is open to recognizing true baseball talent no matter the gender of the player. We know that Melissa Mayeux, Mo'ne Davis (who just got invited to play with the Harlem Globetrotters for her court skills) and other talented female athletes are eager to be recognized, respected, and signed.

A shout out to Justine Siegal and #baseballforall for helping to encourage and train the next generation of successful baseball players.

From MLB.com
At noon on Sunday afternoon, a 16-year-old French girl made Major League Baseball history.
Melissa Mayeux, a shortstop on the French U-18 junior national team, became the first known female baseball player to be added to MLB's international registration list, which means she will be eligible to be signed by a Major League club on July 2.
International prospects, Mayeux included, are typically added to the international registration list at MLB-sanctioned events after verifying their dates of birth and citizenship; while anyone can technically be added to the list, only those who have the potential to actually be signed are customarily registered.
Is it possible that Mayeux will be signed? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not, but the simple fact that Mayeux has been added to the list solidifies her status as a legitimate player. Mayeux, for her part, just wants to play. She speaks little English and is unaware that her presence on the registry might be seen as newsworthy in the United States.
"Melissa just wants to have to most opportunity she can in baseball," said Boris Rothermundt, a coach with the French national team who has been working with Mayeux since she joined the program two years ago as a member of the U-15 team. "She is not at all thinking about being the first female on the list."
Mayeux, who has been a presence on the international youth scene for a while, is simply focused on keeping her baseball career going.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Watching the Women's World Cup with Sporty Girl Books

The FIFA Women's World Cup is well underway. Here are some of our favorite soccer books for your sporty girl reader.

Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm, Illustrated by Carol Thompson

Mia Hamm, American soccer champion tells a true–life–inspired story of learning that winning and losing aren't as important as being part of a team. Part autobiography, the book includes photos of how the author grew up with soccer. From School Library Journal, "Mia's favorite sport is soccer but she hates losing. In fact, she dislikes it so much that she quits in the middle of a game. Upset about her attitude, her siblings do not let her participate the next day. Mia learns quickly that there will be times when she will score a goal and those when she will not, but playing the game is the most fun of all."

Soccer Girl: Cassie's Story by Kara Douglass Thom

We love the Go! Go! Sports Girls. When Cassie’s best friend Anna introduces her to soccer, it’s only a matter of time before Cassie loves the sport as much as her friend does. Cassie wants to play with Anna, but they’re assigned to different teams. What will happen when their two teams compete?

The Kicks: Saving the Team by Alex Morgan
Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer. If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team. But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks.

Soccer Show-Off by Jake Maddox
Gina loves playing soccer, and she can't wait to join the team at her new school. But when Gina tries to be the star of the team, her new teammates don't exactly appreciate it. Gina has to learn that teamwork is more important than winning before she can go back on the field.

Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson
Ari Fish believes in two things: his hero-Wayne Timcoe, the greatest soccer goalie to ever come out of Somerset Valley-and luck. So when Ari finds a rare and valuable Wayne Timcoe trading card, he's sure his luck has changed for the better. Especially when he's picked to be the starting goalie on his team. But when the card is stolen-and his best friend and the new girl on the team accuse each other of taking it-suddenly Ari can't save a goal, everyone is fighting, and he doesn't know who, or what, to believe in. Before the team falls apart, Ari must learn how to make his own luck, and figure out what it truly means to be a hero.

What is your favorite sporty girl soccer book?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sporty Girl Author Interview: Stacy Barnett Mozer, THE SWEET SPOT

This week, Sporty Girl Books founder and contributor Stacy Barnett Mozer debuts her middle grade novel, THE SWEET SPOT. Stacy and I met on the board of New England SCBWI (NESCBWI) in the late 2000's. At that time, NESCBWI had a pretty conservative view of self publishing but a lot can change in ten years. Online technology makes it easier than ever for authors to create eBooks and distribute them. There are a wealth of 3rd party editors and art directors who can be hired to assist behind the scenes. Too, marketing through social media allows authors to connect directly with their readers. When Stacy told me she'd decided to publish THE SWEET SPOT on her own, I couldn't wait to hear about how her thinking about self publication had evolved over the years.  I'm so excited to bring you Stacy Barnett Mozer's, THE SWEET SPOT!

Quick summary of THE SWEET SPOT:

When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude is holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team. 

All stakes now rest on Sam’s performance at baseball training camp. But the moment she arrives, miscommunication sets the week up for potential disaster. Placed at the bottom with the weaker players, she will have to work her way up to A league, not just to show Coach that she can be the best team player possible, but to prove to herself that she can hold a bat with the All-Star boys.

1. What has the journey been for THE SWEET SPOT? When did you write it? Did you query it with agents or editors? What was the reaction to the book from traditional publishing channels?

The Sweet Spot has been on a pretty long journey. It started as a completely different story about a girl who went camping and in one scene played baseball. That one scene was what people who read the manuscript liked best about the novel so in 2011, I rewrote the entire book to turn it into the initial draft of the story it is now. That version of the book got me into Rutgers One on One and got me an agent, which was very exciting. After some work with my agent, the book went out on two rounds of submission in 2012. It didn’t sell. So I put it aside for a while and worked on other things. I didn’t completely let it go though and focused my energy on this blog along with my new projects.

Then last year I decided to turn the manuscript into a paperback copy (not published, just for myself). I wanted the students I taught and students in my daughter’s class to be able to read it before they were too old for middle grade. As I was working on producing it, I deciding to make a number of big changes, things that the editor feedback might have implied needed fixing but that I didn’t recognize at the time they rejected it. I changed the entire manuscript from past tense to present tense, reanimated my main character’s dead mother and made her a living, but distant, presence in her life, and worked on a few other things.

2. Was your decision to self-pub a result of the manuscript's journey or was there a shift in your thinking about self-publishing?  If it was a shift in thinking and strategy, was there a catalyst?

At that point, once the book was revised, I had some big decisions to make. Did I convince my agent to send it back out there? Did I wait until a different manuscript I was working on got a book deal and then send it back out there? Or did I do something completely different and publish it myself. It was a decision I’d been grappling with for over a year. I took the first step over the winter by leaving my agent so that I could make these decisions on my own. I was leaning closer and closer to self-publishing, but still couldn’t get myself to push the button.

The final turning point happened when I attended NESCBWI 15. At the conference I heard from friends and experts on both sides. Self-publishing was discussed as a real alternative to traditional publishing, not just as the only option for a book that didn’t sell. Many authors I met were hybrid published (some books traditional, some self). I weighed the pros and cons. I decided that 1) This is the best book I have written. 2) It fills a need in the market because there has not been a book published about a girl playing baseball since around 2010. 3) Mo’ne Davis has put girl’s baseball on the front cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids now, not years from now. And most important, I felt that I could do it. I could be the champion of this book and get kids reading it. I’d already started doing that in my own school and my daughter’s school. I wanted the chance to do that outside my circle as well. I don’t know if I will ever feel that way about another book I have written, but this one I felt I could do myself and have fun doing it. And honestly, it has been incredibly exciting.

3. Traditional publishing affords a writer editorial support, art direction, distribution, ISBN numbers, marketing (a little). What have you taken on yourself and what have you hired out in order to self-publish?

Other than the cover illustration, which was created by Karen Jacobson, I have done everything else myself … or I should say I’ve gotten by with a little help from my friends. The book has been through the editing paces with an agent, beta readers, and many critique group members. Children who love to point out when their teacher or former teacher has made a mistake have read it. Editing help is the only other thing I would have spent money on if that had not been the case. Other than that, I designed postcards myself and bought them at Vistaprint to keep costs down. I’ve bought a number of copies of advanced reader copies of the book for marketing and to check for errors. If the book starts making money (which is very hard to have it do) I may invest some of that money on additional marketing, but right now I am going to wait and see what happens.

4. With the launch of your book right around the corner, June 11th, about what are you most excited and where can people find THE SWEET SPOT?

I am doing a big virtual launch party for the book on Thursday from 7:30 – 10:30 ET. There will be prizes and all sorts of fun things going on for all age groups. Two of my students even made me a book trailer that I am hoping to premier. It’s very cute. You can join the party by clicking on the image below or putting the following URL in your browsers.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1637223889832642, and at http://fromwritertoauthor.blogspot.com.

The paperback version of The Sweet Spot will be on Amazon starting on launch day, June 11th. The Kindle version can be pre-ordered now at http://www.amazon.com/The-Sweet-Spot-Stacy-Mozer-ebook/dp/B00XBED5JU. It will also be available in the Greenwich Library system, Elm Street Books in New Canaan, CT, and at the Cooperstown Book Nook in Cooperstown, NY. And I am continuing to working on expanding its distribution.

5. Is there anything you'd like to tell us about THE SWEET SPOT that I forgot to ask?

I am having a giveaway for the book along with my launch. You can enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more about my books and me at http://www.stacymozer.com. I'm also on TwitterThank you so much for the interview!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Happy Blog-iversary! Celebrating two years.

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since we started this blog. To celebrate the end of our second year, we are looking for a few new contributors to join our team.

We are looking for a few dedicated individuals who are willing to commit to scheduled blog posting and discussions both on our site and behind the scenes. If you think you are one of those people, please fill out the contact form attached. You will need to provide:

1. Your name
2. Your email
3. Why you would like to join.
4. What you can bring to our site.
5. Anything else you think it will be useful for us to know about you.

We will be accepting applications until the end of June. New members will be chosen by July 1st.

We can't wait to see who our new team members will be!