Foudy, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer, channels her connections and unfaltering positivity into a guide geared toward female athletes.
With a breezy, conversational tone and lots of cheerful doodles and eye-catching changes in type, Foudy introduces her “empoweRINGs,” a set of ideals represented as nested concentric circles. The core of these is “self,” followed by “team,” “school,” “community,” and, finally, the largest, outer ring of “life.” Each of these areas is then further broken down into chapters, explored, and followed by a short activity for readers. Foudy calls upon an impressive list of successful and notable women, including Robin Roberts, Mia Hamm, and Sheryl Sandberg, and also some lesser-known but equally captivating figures such as teen scientist Sophie Healy-Thow and Taliban survivor Fahima Noori to share their stories, struggles, and personal insights. In addition, Foudy adds an abundant smattering of quotations, personal musings, and peppy slogans (like “So choose to Lead. Because you can” and “Bring it AND sing it”) designed to inspire young girls. However, those not involved with sports may have a difficult time relating to both her optimism and anecdotes; for example her portion about school focuses largely on team dynamics in an athletic setting, only superficially examining such weighty issues as bullying, and offers little to help those grappling with other situations.
Foudy’s unrelenting sunniness may not illuminate everyone, but young athletes may find some empowerment here. (Nonfiction. 12-16)