These amazing athletes deserve better.

WE GOT GAME!

35 FEMALE ATHLETES WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

This collective biography presents 35 female athletes who have left marks on their sports, chosen to inspire a new generation of girls.

A broad range of sports is represented, including soccer, gymnastics, bobsled, wheelchair racing, and (stretching definitions a bit) ballet. They include well-known figures like African Americans standouts Misty Copeland and Serena Williams as well as less-familiar but equally revolutionary athletes such as Tatyana McFadden, a White Paralympian who competes in wheelchair racing and nordic skiing, and Marlen Esparza, a Latinx Olympic boxer. Each three-page profile includes one full-page portrait, one page of “amazing facts and unbelievable stats,” and one page of biographical information that includes causes important to them. As these are very accomplished athletes, editing down their life stories to one page is difficult, and Weintraub leaves readers wanting more. One of White Paralympian Hannah Cockroft’s facts is not even a fact about her, but her sport: “T34 is a sport classification for people with certain disabilities like Hannah’s.” (It is also not very illuminating.) Unfortunately, the illustrations are not effective in celebrating these athletes, curiously presenting them with very little muscular definition; it’s hard to tell these athletes are at the primes of their careers. Of the 35 women, more than half present as White; several Black athletes are represented, but there are only two East Asian, one South Asian, and four Latinx athletes. LGBTQ+ athletes and athletes with disabilities are also represented.

These amazing athletes deserve better. (selected sources, index) (Collective biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7624-9781-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012).

UGLY

A memoir of the first 14 years in the life of Australian Robert Hoge, born with stunted legs and a tumor in the middle of his face.

In 1972, Robert is born, the youngest of five children, with fishlike eyes on the sides of his face, a massive lump in place of his nose, and malformed legs. As baby Robert is otherwise healthy, the doctors convince his parents to approve the first of many surgeries to reduce his facial difference. One leg is also amputated, and Robert comes home to his everyday white, working-class family. There's no particular theme to the tale of Robert's next decade and a half: he experiences school and teasing, attempts to participate in sports, and is shot down by a girl. Vignette-driven choppiness and the lack of an overarching narrative would make the likeliest audience be those who seek disability stories. However, young Robert's ongoing quest to identify as "normal"—a quest that remains unchanged until a sudden turnaround on the penultimate page—risks alienating readers comfortable with their disabilities. Brief lyrical moments ("as compulsory as soggy tomato sandwiches at snack time") appeal but are overwhelmed by the dry, distant prose dominating this autobiography.

An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-425-28775-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

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