Monday, March 24, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: Let me play: The story of Title IX, the law that changed the future of girls in America by Karen Blumenthal

I never really thought much about Title IX. Like most people, I assumed it just dealt with girls being allowed to play sports. I have absolutely no interest in sports, never played, and am pretty skeptical about all the "building teamwork" claims, but I'm a strong advocate for girls doing anything they want to do.

However, reading this book was fascinating and I learned there was so much more to Title IX than I had thought. Blumenthal walks the readers through a history of Title IX, giving snapshots of key personages along the way, along with personal stories of girls and women affected by the act and statistics of how it changed educational opportunities for women. The author does a really good job of condensing the many complicated issues, groups, and people down into a cohesive narrative.

Unfortunately, with all the photos being black and white and the poor design of the book I'm not sure I would be able to convince any kids to pick this up and read it. The layout is confusing and oddly random, breaking up paragraphs and even sentences and it gives an overall cluttered feel to what's really a very strong narrative. It's also directed at older readers, middle school more than middle grade, and nonfiction is a hard sell for that group.

Verdict: I enjoyed reading this and found it very educational; I'm definitely going to remember to buy more sports books featuring girls next time I have a shot at updating the sports section (periodically I try to do this and usually end up just sighing and letting it go again). It would be great if publishers had more series featuring contemporary female athletes. However, I probably won't buy this book for my library.

ISBN: 0689859570; Published 2005 by Atheneum; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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