In her newest book, Women in Sports, author and artist Rachel Ignotofsky introduces readers to 50 women athletes who changed the sports world.
Over the course of the book, Ignotofsky chronicles women’s rights in the sports world through 50 biographies of women in sports ranging from BMX racing to MMA fighting to figure skating to cricket. The book is arranged chronologically, with the first pioneers of women’s sports discussed first and the most recent pioneers discussed as the book closes. Each biography features a colorful portrait of the subject participating in her sport, as well as illustrated “fun facts” in the margins. These artistic touches add flair to these women’s stories.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Personally, I am not a big sports fan. I ordered this book as a resource for my classroom, not based on personal reading interest. However, I was intrigued by the layout and graphic design of the book. I have been reading about interactive student notebooks lately and have even experimented with my own creatively inclined notes. I think Ignotofsky’s work in this book would be an excellent model for creative notetaking and motivating students to get creative with their learning.
Although I found most of the biographies to be somewhat stat-dense, a few spectacular pieces did jump out at me. I really enjoyed Ignotofsky’s biography on Tiny Broadwick. At the age of 15, Broadwick was widowed with a daughter to support. Nevertheless, she became a skydiver, jumping out of hot air balloons and eventually airplanes.
My only real beef with this book concerns the Postmodern worldview with which the author approaches the issues discussed in the book. Some of the athletes Ignotofsky features live immoral lifestyles, and these lifestyles are celebrated in the biographies. For this reason, I would be a little more cautious about using this book in my classroom.
- Short biographies on seldom-heard-of women athletes (great informational texts for classroom reading!)
- Lively illustrations
- A diverse representation of women’s sports
- Engaging inforgraphics on muscle anatomy, women’s sports history, pay gaps, etc.
- Writing is not particularly engaging – While I realize these are biographies, many of the pieces in this book were simply too statistically dense for my attention span.
Women in Sports is now available in both hardback and e-book form through distributors like Amazon and Penguin Random House. For more information on Rachel Ignotofsky’s work, including her similar book Women in Science, visit her website.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion, as represented in this review.