Sunday, January 22, 2006
Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America
Blumenthal, Karen. 2005. LET ME PLAY: THE STORY OF TITLE IX, THE LAW THAT CHANGED THE FUTURE OF GIRLS IN AMERICA. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0689859570 [Suggested Grade Levels 5 -12]
Today’s teens will enjoy the pop culture feel of this fresh nonfiction book, but once they absorb its weighty content they’ll find new appreciation for the unlimited choices that girls today can happily take for granted. The 152 page book explains in fascinating detail how Title IX changed opportunity for women in the United States forever: “In a thirty-seven-word introduction, Title IX said that any school receiving money from the government couldn’t treat boys and girls differently because of their sex.”
Divided into ten chapters, the book includes numerous sidebars that make it easy for readers to browse. Those titled “Instant Replay” recount a significant event, like the Equal Pay Act or the arrival of female cadets at US military academies; and those titled “Player Profile” briefly describe some notable figures, like Billie Jean King or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Blumenthal includes a wide variety of revealing photographs, cartoons and advertisements that chronicle changing attitudes towards women. The engaging cover photograph--taken under a Hoboken Little League sign--includes five smiling girls eager to sign up for Little League in l974. Back matter is dense and useful. Blumenthal provides a timeline, extensive documentation, an index, and an interesting feature she calls “Then and Now,” in which quotations from activists and leaders in the 70s and 80s are contrasted with the same people’s more contemporary views.
Help children and teens create a display honoring some of the pioneering women and men Blumenthal describes in her “Player Profile” pages. Using the information from each text block, they can produce a poster advertising each individual’s contribution to the women’s movement.
Books exploring fairness for women and girls:
Carlson, Dale Bick. GIRLS ARE EQUAL TOO: HOW TO SURVIVE: FOR TEENAGE GIRLS. ISBN 1884158188
Miller, Page Putnam. LANDMARKS OF AMERICAN WOMEN’S HISTORY. ISBN 019541501
Rossi, Ann. CREATED EQUAL: WOMEN CAMPAIGN FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE, L840-1920. ISBN 079228285X
By Suzy Parchman