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A winning story full of heart, camaraderie, and power.

The underdog story of America’s first women's Olympic basketball team plays out in this thoughtful exploration of social change.

Soon after James Naismith invented basketball in 1891, girls and women began enthusiastically playing the sport. However, it wasn’t until the passage of Title IX in 1972 that American schools were required to provide equal opportunities, allowing female athletes to compete at the same level (though not with the same funding) as their male counterparts. In 1973, the International Olympic Committee added women’s basketball to the 1976 Games in Montreal. Building the squad from the 1973 World University Games team and open tryouts, basketball pioneer Mildred Barnes enabled coaches Billie Moore and Sue Gunter to assemble a scrappy team capable of medaling when no one (not even USA Basketball executive director Bill Wall) thought it possible. Maraniss explores decades of misogyny and sexism, generations of systemic racism, and White feminists’ shortcomings when it came to race that surrounded the humble beginnings of what became a true Olympic powerhouse: As of 2021, the U.S. women’s team has won seven straight gold medals. Interviews with athletes from the 1976 Olympics enhance the invigorating narrative, enriching a book that will stick with readers long after they put it down. Weaving women’s basketball into a textured account of a society in flux, Maraniss’ latest will appeal to a broad audience.

A winning story full of heart, camaraderie, and power. (photo credits, source notes, bibliography, rosters, statistics, box scores, timeline) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35124-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Small but mighty necessary reading.

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change.

Teen environmental activist and founder of the nonprofit Hannah4Change, Testa shares her story and the science around plastic pollution in her fight to save our planet.

Testa’s connection to and respect for nature compelled her to begin championing animal causes at the age of 10, and this desire to have an impact later propelled her to dedicate her life to fighting plastic pollution. Starting with the history of plastic and how it’s produced, Testa acknowledges the benefits of plastics for humanity but also the many ways it harms our planet. Instead of relying on recycling—which is both insufficient and ineffective—she urges readers to follow two additional R’s: “refuse” and “raise awareness.” Readers are encouraged to do their part, starting with small things like refusing to use plastic straws and water bottles and eventually working up to using their voices to influence business and policy change. In the process, she highlights other youth advocates working toward the same cause. Short chapters include personal examples, such as observations of plastic pollution in Mauritius, her maternal grandparents’ birthplace. Testa makes her case not only against plastic pollution, but also for the work she’s done, resulting in something of a college-admissions–essay tone. Nevertheless, the first-person accounts paired with science will have an impact on readers. Unfortunately, no sources are cited and the lack of backmatter is a missed opportunity.

Brief yet inspirational, this story will galvanize youth to use their voices for change. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-22333-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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