Born in 1911 to Norwegian immigrant parents in Port Arthur, Texas, from her earliest years, Babe Didrikson wanted to compete.
She grew up in a time when voting rights for women were still a hot-button issue, and her desire for an athletic career flew in the face of society’s expectations. Babe’s ambition, self-promotion and outspoken manner often found her at odds with other competitors and members of the press. Despite this, her influence was wide-ranging, making an impact on team sports and the Olympic Games as well as encouraging the growth of women’s golf. This energetic biography is at its best when it reveals how Babe’s drive changed so many areas in women’s sports even as society resisted their inclusion. The Wallaces handle the abrasive aspects of Babe’s personality as frankly as they highlight her successes. The volume has a bold design and is lavishly illustrated with photographs; it provides a timeline, source notes, a bibliography, an index and a set of frequently asked questions that allows the writers to explore additional aspects of Babe’s life without slowing the lively narrative.
The life of the renowned athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias offers the combination of sports, entertainment and celebrity that will interest young readers, and the Wallaces play it well. (Biography. 9-14)