Debut author Rutherford looks at women’s professional sports and the social forces behind them.
“Why is the pro sports experience so different for a man versus a woman?” Though Rutherford concedes other benefits of sports—success in school, fitness, fun—money is clearly the most obvious indicator of disparity. “LeBron has more than a dozen different pairs of shoes named after him and more than eight million followers on Instagram.” Maya Moore, a leading player in the WNBA, “earns almost nothing compared with what LeBron makes” and is not as well-known. To find answers to her key question, Rutherford analyzes the historical lack of opportunity in girls sports, the role of Title IX in expanding opportunity, the role of television as a force in sports, and the impact key players have had on various sports. She adopts a “you can do it” tone, which is enhanced by full-page color action photographs, several interviews with sports stars, a multicolor design (which borders on garishness), and letting women speak for themselves in quotations on most pages. Addressing herself directly to young readers, as she does throughout the volume, the author says, “And the thing is, you have a role in this, too. The advancements we’re seeing start with kids like you.”
Young girls especially will be inspired by this volume and the bright future for women’s sports it portrays. (index, sources) (Nonfiction. 9-14)