This is a book for all the girls who need to hear the words, “Girl, you are amazing!” It’s a book about being brave and using your gifts and not being discouraged or put in a box. I read the whole book with the author, Debbie Gonzales‘s, voice in my head, her cheerful, happy voice. The book gives a history of women in sports, and calls out some big names over the years, both athletes and political activists. I learned a lot, and it made me want to dive deeper into the stories of some of these amazing women who were brave pioneers, bucking the system in bloomers on the basketball court or pants (shocking!) on the polo field. There’s a lot here for educators and parents and kids, with illustrations that are each poster-worthy.
Debbie is a good friend of mine and an encourager by nature, and we have a lot in common. We’ve both been Regional Advisors of the Austin chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). We are both pretty cheerful, optimistic women that love to keep learning. We both had our first book published “later” in life, and we were both debut authors in fall of 2019. Even though Debbie left Austin for Michigan, we remain good friends and continue to encourage each other.
Debbie is not only a gifted writer, she’s a gifted teacher and educator. She makes education guides for tons of children’s books through her Guides by Deb business. She’s also a champion of young and old when it comes to learning the ropes in marketing our books. The Austin tribe of children’s writers and illustrators is a strong and supportive bunch of girls and guys with guts. When Debbie showed up in Austin alongside another good friend and talented children’s author Carmen Oliver (who will get her own post) for a joint book launch at our beloved Bookpeople, we were all there to cheer. There are many more races to run, and I look forward to more Debbie Gonzales books on my shelf.