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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

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THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

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 Boyle’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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

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