Saturday, March 10, 2018

Belle of the Ball (Hoops #1)

35297153Delle Donne, Elena. Belle of the Ball (Hoops #1)
March 13th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Elle DeLuca is lucky that she enjoys playing basketball-- she's 6' tall in the 7th grade, so everyone always asks. When a new coach changes her position, she is concerned that she isn't as good a player as she could be. Add to her worries the fact that her private school has a mandatory cotillion that involves her dancing with boys much shorter than herself. She also has to wear a dress, which seems like a horrible idea. Her friend Avery tries to be supportive, and her mother, while very busy with her sports loving siblings and special needs sister, also tries to help when she can. Elle eventually finds a dress that works, and realizes that dancing can be fun under certain circumstances, and she also learns to hold her own on the basketball court in hew new position.
Strengths: There are not as many books about girls' basketball as I need, and it's great to see a basketball star writing a book based loosely on her own life.  There were many good details about basketball. I especially liked the part where Elle's mother talks to the principal about changing expectations for the dance so that students may dance with a friend of the same gender (since Elle was okay with dancing with her friend Amanda) or wear appropriately dressy slacks instead of a skirt. Much more in line with today's students.
Weaknesses: A mandatory cotillion? These things still exist, but the whole idea seemed so strange to me that the school might well have required a mandatory interview with a space alien.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and looking forward to the next book, expected 12 June 2018.

But seriously, if girls have to wear skirts, they need to learn to sit in them properly! The cover hurts my feelings. When I was in Bluebirds, we spent one whole meeting learning how to sit in chairs and on the floor in a skirt! Also, I wear skirts almost every day because they are way more comfortable than pants, even with tights. Tights are no more uncomfortable than leggings, and plenty of people like to pretend that those are clothing!

35297162Delle Donne, Elena. My Shot: Balancing it All and Standing TallMarch 13th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

For a woman a bit older than my own daughter, Delle Donne has had enough interesting things happen in her life to write a suitable memoir. She talks about her high school career, family struggles, her challenges in deciding what to do in college, problems with recurring Lyme disease, coming to terms with coming out, and her career in the WNBA and involvement with the Special Olympics. The book is fairly well written and moves along at a good pace, but is still fairly long. I will probably purchase this, since it is an inspiring story, but I'm not entirely sure any of my students have ever heard of Delle Donne.

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