Friday, April 7, 2023

Spring Reading 2023 Hoops

This graphic novel inspired by real events is wonderfully readable and may surprise readers when they learn that prior to Title IX many schools did not even have female athletes. Based on interviews with members of the 1976 Warsaw High School girls' basketball team, the story follows Judi and her teammates as they struggle to make it to the state playoffs when they are given no uniforms, no transportation, and must wait until late in the evening to even use the high school gym (once all the boys' teams are through with their practices or games). Scenes show the girls coming together as a team, overcoming the various obstacles with determination and help from friends and family, and even approaching the athletic director about the unfair treatment.

The author's note explains that he became aware of the story of the Warsaw team after reading We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose, and then how his research led to interviews with several of the original team. There is also a page with details about the history of Title IX and its impact on the number of girls involved in sports. And it even mentions how the NCAA was called out on their continued discrimination as recently as March 2021.

For readers interested in sports, perhaps especially for young female athletes who don't see themselves portrayed as often, this is a great book to enjoy and discuss.

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