GIRLS GOT GAME

SPORTS STORIES & POEMS

This welcome anthology of original stories and poems explores a wide range of emotions and experiences of athletic girls. Since relatively few sports books focus on girls, this gives voice to fresh material and viewpoints. What is it like for a girl to clash with a female coach? What happens when a girl loves football above all other sports and has the physical build to play it? Can a romantic friendship between a girl and boy survive when the girl beats the boy in a tetherball tournament? The short stories and poems hinge on these and similar issues that girls deal with in the world of sports. Macy, whose previous books (Winning Ways: A Photohistory of American Women in Sports, 1996, etc.) have also broken ground in the area of females and sports, has assembled a group of well-known and lesser-known writers, all women with sports in their background. Virginia Euwer Wolff contributes an engaging story of three generations of women involved in the physically demanding sport of synchronized swimming. Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the 2001 Coretta Scott King Author Award, uses a colloquial first-person voice to create Beanie, a girl who excels at stickball but must deal with the jealousy of boys who don’t play as well, while also struggling with her sexuality. Other stories and poems look at soccer, horseback riding, tennis, track, baseball, and more. With its original topics and insights, this thematic anthology should find a place in all libraries that serve middle-schoolers. (Short-story/poetry anthology. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6568-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

Certain to provoke controversy and difficult to see as a book for children, who could easily miss the painful point.

After Hitler appoints Bruno’s father commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno (nine) is unhappy with his new surroundings compared to the luxury of his home in Berlin.

The literal-minded Bruno, with amazingly little political and social awareness, never gains comprehension of the prisoners (all in “striped pajamas”) or the malignant nature of the death camp. He overcomes loneliness and isolation only when he discovers another boy, Shmuel, on the other side of the camp’s fence. For months, the two meet, becoming secret best friends even though they can never play together. Although Bruno’s family corrects him, he childishly calls the camp “Out-With” and the Fuhrer “Fury.” As a literary device, it could be said to be credibly rooted in Bruno’s consistent, guileless characterization, though it’s difficult to believe in reality. The tragic story’s point of view is unique: the corrosive effect of brutality on Nazi family life as seen through the eyes of a naïf. Some will believe that the fable form, in which the illogical may serve the objective of moral instruction, succeeds in Boyne’s narrative; others will believe it was the wrong choice.

Certain to provoke controversy and difficult to see as a book for children, who could easily miss the painful point. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-75106-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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