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, December 29, 2015

Sporty Girl Book Review: Roller Girl (In words and pictures.)

Today on Sporty Girl Books a review that's a little different. This review is in words and pictures just like the graphic novel it describes...ROLLER GIRL by Victoria Jamieson. I loved this book and recommend it highly for readers ages 8 and up.

Shop at independent bookstores!

Click on the image to zoom in on the review(, my worn countertops, and ugly kitchen floor).

To see her wonderful drafted spreads don't miss Victoria Jamieson's website.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sailing: Let the Water and the Wind Take You Away

Sailing in December? But sailing is a summer sport, right? Well, down under it’s summer right now and a few weeks ago, some of the top U.S. Paralympic sailors competed in the 2015 Para World Sailing Championships in Melbourne, Australia. We’re heading into an Olympic/Paralympic year, and the Olympic Sailing competition will take place August 5-20, 2016 and the Paralympic Sailing events will take place from September 7-18, 2016.

I came across a couple of inspiring videos from a documentary, “Uncharted Waters” following athletes on U.S. Sailing Team Sperry and featuring Annie Haeger, Briana Provancha, Sarah Everhart-Skeels, and Cindy Walker, who are vying for a spot on Team USA (see links to videos below). Long before each of these sailors learned the difference between a bow and a mast, an American named Eleanor “Ellen” Prentiss Creesy was breaking barriers navigating the Atlantic and Pacific seas.

Most likely, Ellen Prentiss Creesy is not a household name, but thanks to DARE THE WIND by Tracey Fern, readers are introduced to a New England trailblazer who was drawn to the seas and had a passion for speed. Learning to navigate a schooner or clipper is as difficult as navigating life’s obstacles, and the sage advice she received from her Papa is one I added to my list of favorites: “A true navigator must have the caution to read the sea, as well as the courage to dare the wind.”

In 1851, she made history as the navigator while her husband was captain of a sleek clipper ship, the Flying Cloud, which set a world record for speed sailing from New York around South America (Cape Horn) and up to San Francisco. It's an inspiring and remarkable account of a 15,000-mile, 89-day record-breaking adventure at sea.

DARE THE WIND is a picture/middle grade book sure to appeal to would-be sailors, those interested in maritime or women’s history, and all who have “saltwater in their veins.” Readers who liked this will also enjoy Fern’s BUFFALO MUSIC about another history making pioneer, Mary Ann Goodnight. The gorgeous ink and watercolor illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully capture the period. I especially enjoyed the voyage scenes with Creesy steering the Flying Cloud through rain, snow, and treacherous waters. The Author’s Note and Glossary along with the voyage map on the endpapers are a bonus and provide informative background details. 

Additional Information
Author, Tracy Fern - Website
Illustrator, Emily Arnold McCully - Website
U.S. Sailing Team Videos "Uncharted Waters"
Sarah Everhart-Skeels & Cindy Walker 
U.S. Sailing  - Website

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Does anyone else listen to PW Kidscast? I adore hearing authors being interviewed about upcoming releases and getting the "inside scoop" on their writing/story process. A few weeks ago debut author Eric Londstrom was on the podcast (check it out here). I was so intrigued with his book. Parker is legally blind, and not the typical blind where you can see some light, her optic nerves are severed. She's in pitch black always. Braille has always interested me. In fact, I've told myself multiple time that I need to learn it in case I do go blind as my eye sight is awful. I literally can't recognize anything   right in front of my face without my glasses or contacts. Plus, I've always been intrigued with people without one of the five senses. I studied ASL and the deaf culture in college and so I was really curious about this book and Parker's story, but knew I'd have to wait until release date December 1, 2015. 

But then I saw it up on Net Galley. After forever, but they took pity on me and let me read an advanced copy. Imagine my thrill of reading the first chapter and realizing our beloved Parker is a runner. A blind runner. I was hooked and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I read NOT IF I  SEE YOU FIRST in two days. 

We all have obstacles to overcome to compete, but Parker's are much larger...if she even wants to run track. She's always run for herself, across and across a field close to her house before school every morning, walking the field for new obstacles, then counting paces. Now, when the track coach wants her to try out, she has to decide if she wants to run in front of people, if she could manage being "tethered" to another runner, or if it's too wild for her to even attempt. She has grit, determination, and a satisfying story.

My one warning: It does start with a dream, a long one, which is a pet peeve of mine, and longish dreams come back to give us backstory along her journey. While this isn't my preference, everything else was really fun and real. 

I hope you'll add NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST to the top of your TBR pile! And/or even give it as a gift.

From Goodreads:
The Rules: 

Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.

Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me.

Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter. 

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Today is #GivingTuesday. A wonderful way to give back this year is to help one of the following organizations that work to promote girls in sports.

Sporty Girls, Inc (no connection to this blog) seeks to encourage minority girls age 8 - 18 to participate and achieve success in non-traditional sports. Sporty Girls will expose young women to golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis while building good character and lifestyle skills.

The Women's Sports Foundation is currently running a Travel Camp; Training Fundraiser for female athletes who need your help. Since 1984, WSF has provided grants to more than 4,000 women including figure skater Michelle Kwan, the U.S. Women's Water Polo, Softball and Boxing Teams, gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Mallory Weggemann, many of whom have gone on to win national and world championships, Olympic and Paralympic medals, and provide inspiration to millions of girls and boys around the world. Current athletes (Dream Makers) are raising funds for future athletes (Dream Chasers).

More globally, Skateistan helps to empower girls and working youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding. Once the kids are hooked on skateboarding, the organization provides programming in education and leadership.

Baseball for All is a wonderful organization that promotes women in baseball. They use the money for scholarships and providing other opportunities for girls to follow their dreams.

There is also an exciting opportunity to support Dreamcatchers Woman's Professional Baseball. From their website: The Dreamcatchers is a women's professional baseball club inspiring girls and boys to follow their dreams. All of our players are committed to being community role models and serving as baseball ambassadors. With the Dreamcatchers leading the way, girls will know they have a place in this great game...

Do you know of other organizations for girl and woman sports that need support? Make sure to tell us about it in the comments.