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, November 24, 2015

Gift Ideas for Sporty Girls and Those Who Love Them

If you are one of the many shoppers out and about in the next weeks, here are some great gift ideas for the sporty reader in your life.

For sport book gift recommendations, please click on the book lists by age group in the tabs above or type "book" in the search bar. BOOKLIST online requires that you register for a 14 day free trial to read Core Collection: Sports Fiction for Girls. We also previously published this Let's Hear it for the Girls BOOKLIST link that was their response to an original sports books posting that listed fiction with only male protagonists. Support your local independent bookstore!

If you're looking for the one-of-a-kind, check out these handcrafted ideas from the Etsy website:

Picaboo Art Studio brings you this set of eight posters that make an incredible piece of sporty girl wall art. The set features ice hockey girl, soccer girl, golfer girl, and motivational panels, and can be customized.

There are so many options for sports and colors that I can't list them here. Visit Picaboo Art Studio.

EATcreations brings you "Lovingly hand stamped quality vintage cutlery, carefully sourced from around the globe...& a few other things too. Clean deep punch work impressions coming from years of stamp work experience." Here is the EATcreations Recycled Vintage Silver Spoon Bookmark. With the hand punched phrase: "Fell Asleep Here." This absolutely speaks to my reading habits.

From DesignsByAnnette comes a set of earrings that reminds your athlete about the importance of tenacity. Book Cover Earrings - The Little Engine Who Could - Typewriter Key jewelry

When I write, my hands and feet feel the cold first. These fingerless Little Women Writing Gloves from Storiarts include the lines, "I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected," also "Better to be happy old maids than unhappy wives." We also wish them equal opportunities in all facets of their life. 

KimGilbert3 has taken one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare and made it into a custom fierce pendant. This one features a birthstone bead and name as well. 

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ice Hockey: Low Score in the Nonfiction Net

A recent Team USA Sports Scene Weekly had a headline that caught my eye: “U.S. Women's Natl Team Wins Four Nations Cup: U.S. Comes From Behind to Defeat Canada 3-2 in OT.” The Four Nations Cup is a women’s ice hockey tournament held since 1996 and the U.S. has won the title six times.

I was curious about the number of books about girls playing ice hockey. Of course, the first one that came to mind was Sporty Girl Books contributor, Kristine Asselin’s YA romance ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT and GETTING IN THE GAME by Dawn FitzGerald, but when it comes to finding nonfiction titles it’s disappointing – most are pretty outdated.  A quick trip to my library and I found one book, GIRLS’ ICE HOCKEY: DOMINATING THE RINK by Tami Johnson published by Capstone Press. It’s a good introductory snapshot of the sport with information on rules, basic terminology, plus advice and a few profiles of players like Cammi Granato and Natalie Darwitz, but the publication date is 2008. Today, the sport has grown and new stars have emerged that warrant some new titles to be added to the shelves. Below are a few more nonfiction titles and some additional resources for teachers and parents.

Four additional nonfiction books
Breaking the Ice by Angela Ruggiero (2005)
Crashing the Net by Mary Turco (1999)
The Hockey Book for Girls by Stacy Wilson (2000)
H.E.A.R.T. by Cassie Campbell and Lorna Schultz Nicholson (2007)
Do you have a more recently published nonfiction title to add to this list? Please feel free to share the title in the comments section below.

Three activities for teachers (a hat trick!)
1. Invite a girl from a local high school, college, or professional ice-hockey team to visit your class. Ask them to bring their equipment bag so students can learn what they need to wear and why those bags are so heavy!
Tie in book:  Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook (Charlesbridge 2015).

2. Ice Hockey terms include: assist, body check, goalie, wings, and penalty.
Do other sports use these terms?

3.  Okay, so this might be a stretch. Two people share the same name: Hilary Knight.  One is a writer/illustrator and the other is a two-time Olympic Ice-Hockey silver medalist who also scored the winning goal in the Four Nations Cup mentioned at the beginning of this entry.
Research both people and list their similarities and differences.

Overtime Notes

Because I wondered how many states have girls' ice hockey programs, I found this on MaxPreps
Alaska (26)
Connecticut (46)
Illinois (1)
Maine (16)
Maryland (18)
Massachusetts (154)
Michigan (8)
Minnesota (167)
New Hampshire (19)
New Jersey (14)
New York (20)
Pennsylvania (7)
Rhode Island (10)
Vermont (16)
Wisconsin (25)

A source for information on women’s college hockey
U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) http://www.uscho.com/d1women/

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review of LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD by Tara Lazar

I was thrilled to see this cute new version of Little Red Riding Hood! Little Red on skates! Yes, please!

Thanks to Tara Lazar for taking the time to chat with me about her new picture book, and thanks to Random House for the review copy of the lovely LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD.

This adorable picture book is a wonderful edition to any child’s collection, but will particularly appeal to kids who LOVE fairy tale mash-ups and/or ice skating. YAY for Picture Books with Sporty Girls!

Little Red tells the tale of the classic red hooded heroine whose grandmother lives deep in the enchanted forest. But in this version, her ice skates are in bad need of repair. The only way to get a new pair is to win the local pairs championship, but Little Red doesn’t have a partner. What will she do??

Along Little Red's journey, author Tara Lazar (with help from Troy Cummings on illustrations) explores the competition. Everyone is surprised by the unexpected partner Red ends up finding. I love the twist on the classic story--and I love how Lazar has incorporated almost every fairy tale you could think of into her story. Cummings' pictures take the story to another level--kids will be able to tell their own stories about the secondary characters by reading between the lines of the illustrations.

I heartily give this adorable book FIVE stars. It’s something that kids will want to hear over and over—and parents won’t mind reading again and again. There’s something new to be seen in each retelling.

Isn't the cover adorable?

Tara took a few minutes to answer some questions:
KCA:  I love the theme of LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD, can you tell us about the inspiration?
TL: One day Corey Rosen Schwartz was sitting in my kitchen, trying to figure out what the follow-up to THE THREE NINJA PIGS should be. I said, "The wolf's in Little Red Riding Hood, how about Ninja Red Riding Hood?" And so off a-writin' she went...

A few weeks later she was back. "I've got a title and I can't do a thing with it! But it's perfect for you!" That title? LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD. As a former figure skater, I was immediately inspired. YES! And so off a-writin' I went...

So we gave each other ideas for each other's books. And now we'll be doing appearances with our two REDs.

KCA: Is there any funny/interesting anecdote you can share about the book's journey to publication?

TL: The journey to publication was a like a winding, frozen river. My editor immediately liked the concept, but thought the manuscript needed work. So I revised. Then she asked me to keep going, put in a little more wacky nursery rhyme and fairy tale stuff. So I revised again. By the time I finished that revision, she was on maternity leave. I had to wait about 6 months until she came back and had time to review the new version. Once she did, I finally got the offer.

Then, guess what? She had me revise it two more times!

And Grandma's final line...that took months for me to figure out. But when it finally hit me, I knew it was perfect.

Finally, five years after I first wrote it, Little Red Gliding Hood is skating into kid's hearts!

Thanks, Tara! I love your wonderful book—I’m sure it will be adored by kids for years to come.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ON THE FENCE by Kasie West

Kasie West writes super fun contemporary novels (in addition to her PIVOT POINT series), so when I found out she'd written an athletic MC for ON THE FENCE, I knew it would be a great one to have here on Sporty Girl Books.

From Goodreads: For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

My thoughts: Charlie can keep up with the boys, but she's clueless when it comes to dating them. With three massive brothers and a cop father, it takes someone who meets her out of her element (in makeup and "girl clothes") to ask her out on her first date. She thinks she needs to act like she isn't tough and doesn't know about sports when he takes her to watch the "A"s one of her favorite teams. It takes lots of "fence chats" and figuring out she can be a girl and tough, to follow her heart, be herself, and wear makeup when she wants to.  
I had tons of laugh out loud moments reading this book with all the pranks, the joking, and her cluelessness about girl stuff. She's a runner, upwards of 7 miles daily so she can sleep well, on top of her basketball, baseball, football, and soccer playing. This girl can do it all. 
I could easily picture her family and pull up a chair at her kitchen table. I also appreciated that there were morals of honestly, no cussing, and they had to wait to be 16 to start dating. Charlie was held responsible for her

I would definitely recommend this book.