Following the format she introduced in Women in Science (2016), author/illustrator Ignotofsky now celebrates women who broke barriers to change the sports world.
The collection represents a variety of figures from all over the globe born between 1881 and 1997, ranging from pioneering white figure skater Madge Syers and Tiny Broadwick, a white sky diver who advised the U.S. military on parachute safety during World War I, to beloved contemporaries such as white swimmer Katie Ledecky and black gymnast Simone Biles. Ignotofsky devotes one spread to each, with a brief profile on the recto and a stylized portrait containing inspirational quotes and facts on the verso. Readers will find stories that surprise and profoundly move them, for a number of these athletes not only battled societal challenges, but also personal hardship. African-American track star Wilma Rudolph overcame polio, segregation, and sexism. French-Canadian Chantal Petitclerc, paralyzed in youth, worked to set five Paralympic world records in wheelchair racing. Cricket player Mithali Raj risked familial displeasure to break records and traditional gender roles in India. Influential sports teams are also included, perhaps most notably the multicultural women of the 2016 Olympics’ Refugee Team, whose stamina proved stunning—first in life-threatening conditions, then in the sports arena. The collection is rounded out by brief introductions to other women athletes and pieces on muscle anatomy and pay and media statistics.
Exhaustive and enlightening—don’t miss it. (timeline, conclusion, sources, index.) (Nonfiction. 10-14)