These amazing athletes deserve better.



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 30, 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).


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 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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From the For Kids series

The latest installment in the For Kids series offers a clear and interesting biography of the 26th President, plus 21 activities to supplement the narrative. Vigorous writing is rooted in a wealth of fascinating details, and the many photographs, political cartoons, posters, postcards and advertisements help bring to life Roosevelt and his times. Some of the activities, however, have a rather tenuous connection to the text, such as making éclairs (because Roosevelt once said that President McKinley “had no more backbone than an éclair”). One activity—needle felting teddy bears—could prove dangerous for young readers; sewing would be safer and more historically accurate. No source notes are provided, even for quotations, but five of the recommended readings are solid works for young readers. An attractive, well-written volume that, through the better activities, makes learning history a hands-on affair. (places to visit, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55652-955-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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