Monday, June 23, 2014
Babe Conquers the World
by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace
272 pages; ages 9-14
Calkins Creek/ Boyds Mills, 2014
When Babe grew up it was rare for young girls to play sports. But she lucked out - her elementary school principal realized that Babe needed to sweat and jump and run and allowed her to play sports with the boys. After school, Babe headed to the sandlot for baseball. Without women athletes to serve as role models, Babe fashioned her own way into sports.
In high school Babe played basketball, baseball, tennis... and when the 1928 Olympics opened track-and-field events to women, Babe followed the news. Her school didn't have a girl's track-and-field team, but there were rows of hedges all along the avenue. Heck - she even wanted to play football. For her, playing sports was a way to be equal.
Rich and Sandra follow Babe's life from her first big break on a women's semi-pro basketball team to the 1932 Olympics, her foray into golf and professional athletics, and even a stage show. They infuse her story with warmth and help us see Babe as a whole person, not just the world class athlete. In true journalist fashion they include all kinds of extras at the back: a timeline, FAQs, source notes and more.
This is Nonfiction Monday. You'll find lots more great nonfiction books at the Nonfiction Monday blog. It's also Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday - and you'll find more good middle-grade and YA literature over at Shannon Messenger's blog. Review copy provided by publisher.