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Girls Got Game: Sports Stories and Poems

by Sue Macy

Published by Henry Holt, 2001
152 pages
ISBN: 0-8050-6568-7

Ages 10 - 16

In A Whole New Ball Game (Holt, 1993) and Winning Ways (Holt, 1996) Sue Macy weaved her passion for women's athletics and her fact-finding skills and research into compelling nonfiction narratives about women's and girl in sports. Girls Got Game goes beyond facts to the truths that fiction and poetry are sometimes best suited to reveal. In this singular collection, Macy has gathered nine original short stories and nine poems in which women writers give voice to their own passions, and often their own experiences and memories, with regard to athleticism and sports. Each of the stories features a distinctive young female protagonist involved in some form of athletic endeavor, from softball to synchronized swimming, horseback riding to tetherball, basketball to soccer. They are girls involved in struggles that many young readers today will recognize, whether or not they are sportsminded themselves. Sometimes that struggle is highly personal, as in Virginia Euwer Wolff's short story "Water" in which a young athlete has lost her passion and is drained by the endless quest for perfection. Sometimes the struggle resonates with broader social issues, such as the achingly age-old and unfair strains of sexism that are played out with subtle and infuriating perfection in Felicia E. Halpert's "Summer Games." In that story, the sweetness of a young girl's innocent first love grows bitter after she beats the boy in a camp tetherball tournament and he turns his back on their blossoming relationship, unable to gracefully accept his loss to her, a girl. The nine poems in the collection also cover a range of sports and offer sweat and grit and celebration and joy at the thrill of doing something well, or in one's own courageous way. A brief biographical profile of each contributor follows her story or poem and focuses in part on her experiences with sports and athletics as a child and adult. Along with Sue Macy's introduction, which is a marvelous personal essay on growing up as a sports-loving girl with little outlet for her enthusiasm in the days before Title IX, they provide an additional layer of richness to this energizing and thoughtful collection. CCBC categories: Fiction for Young Adults. (MS; April 23) 2001 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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