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, April 26, 2016

Equal Play, Equal Pay

Last summer the eyes of many in the United States turned north as the Women's Soccer Team won the World Cup. People from all over the country jumped into their cars in order to be there to share the experience. Without knowing in advance who would be in the semi-finals, my family had already made attending the semi-final game part of our Canadian vacation.

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric. The cement walls vibrated with excitement as people stood and cheered every play. It was so loud that my daughter and I held our hands over our ears for most of the game. By the time it was over our voices were horse and our smiles were wide. 

By the final game we had re-entered the US and had made our way to a hotel in New Hampshire. The bar of the hotel filled with people as dozens came together to cheer the US team. Men, women, and children stood together waiting for the final buzzer to sound. For many it was a summer highlight.

But the excitement of last summer was slightly diminished when conversations turned to some serious inequities that exist between the men and women's teams, such as this one from Quartz in July. Last month more articles were published in light of the fact that 5 of the women filed a complaint of wage discrimination. Business Insider has a good article to explain some of the details.

Hopefully we are finally at a place where we can continue these conversations and not dismiss the complaints.

Want to help your child learn more about women's soccer? Hand him or her a biography. Here's a great one about Mia Hamm.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016


My last post was in advance of National Poetry Month and now that we’re midway through the month that celebrates prose, rhyme, and verse I couldn’t resist sharing two additional titles: GOOD SPORTS by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Chris Raschka and THE FASTEST GAME ON TWO FEET by Alice Low and illustrated by John O’Brien.

Jack Prelutsky was named our nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006 and like many who grew up near Yankee Stadium (or any similar stadium) is a baseball fan. GOOD SPORTS is filled with delightful rhymes about running, jumping, and throwing. It includes team sports like baseball, basketball, soccer plus gymnastics, surfing, and karate. Girls are sure to identify with sports they are currently playing or would like to try. The illustrations by award-winning, Raschka are both full of motion and whimsical. While sports stories often focus on scoring the touchdown or finishing first, my favorite poems reflected the in-between moments of participation like the daydreaming swimmer who isn’t sinking to the bottom but can make it to the opposite end of the pool or the basketball player longing for the day they can dunk, “When I grow three feet taller.”

I readily admit to not knowing the history for several of the 19 sports featured in Alice Low’s THE FASTEST GAME ON TWO FEET AND OTHER POEMS ABOUT HOW SPORTS BEGAN. Like me, readers will be fascinated to learn that the origin of soccer goes back to kicking a skull around an old battlefield, or Mary, Queen of Scots, was likely the first female golfer, and the first skiers probably strapped animal bones to their shoes to move around faster! Each sport is introduced with the origin of the name and brief history followed by a poem that reflects the history. While some poems worked better than others, the combination of all plus informative endnotes makes this a must-have for any sports collection. Low is not only a writer but also a sporty girl with fond memories of learning sports at camp and at five feet three inches tall, she was the captain of her basketball team. The ink and watercolor drawings are captivating. I found myself flipping back over the pages to view all the fine details. One of my favorite illustrations was for ice skater Sonya Henie, “Girl in White.” Look for the cursive message she skates on ice. My only critique – likely due to, alas, getting older – is the small typeface on the introductions of each sport. The dark background color and small font size made some pages difficult to read.

Both of these picture books capture the joyful experiences that come with play and the illustrations compliment the text beautifully. Each author and illustrator shine a light on the world of play and word play.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sporty Girl Books Needs Your Coaching!

Spring has sprung in most of the country (even though it feels like 18º here in Maine) and teams are practicing outdoors and in gyms for a season of new competition. Here at Sporty Girl Books we are in training too: reading great books to review, interviewing authors and industry professionals, and keeping up with issues in the union between women and sports*.

Good training often requires coaching and we'd love your coaching now.

  • What books would you like us to review?
  • What authors or athletes would you like to know more about?
  • What questions about publishing we could answer? 
  • If you are an author, let us know. Take a look at our review policy. We'd love to be a part of your blog tour. 
  • We also love guest bloggers and would love your sporty girl book pitch for a relevant article. 

If you read Sporty Girl Books, please follow us to get our posts delivered to your email, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. We always appreciate your comments and hope that you'll comment as our coaches today and everyday.

*In fact, right now the US Women's National Soccer Team have filed a wage-discrimination action against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. More as it becomes available.