A Note to Readers
I am so excited about this post from Aileen Weintraub. I met Aileen in a Facebook group this past winter, and was so excited to learn about her new book, We Got Game: 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World.
Young female athletes need books about their role models–how they’re winning the game on the field and off it. Weintraub’s narrative will give readers chills as they read story after story of young women who have broken through barriers to compete at the sports they love. Young readers will be inspired to learn that these women have lent their hands, voices, and platforms to make sure other women have the same opportunity.
Read on to learn how you might use this amazing book with your students!
Teaching WE GOT GAME! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World
Tell us about your book.
WE GOT GAME! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World (Hachette, May 4, 2021) is an artfully illustrated middle-grade social justice book about female athletes who are using their fame to advocate for change in the world, focusing on issues including gender equality, disability rights, climate change, body positivity, cyberbullying, and more. The book also includes the history of each athlete’s accomplishments, along with stats and facts about their amazing careers. It has recently made Publisher Weekly’s List of New and Forthcoming Titles on Women, Girls and Empowerment.
What do you hope your young readers will take away from your book?
I want kids who read this book to come away feeling empowered. Part of the goal of this book is to expand what it means to be an athlete. So many girls age out of sports because of pressure about what their bodies look like and how they feel. I want girls to feel comfortable competing so they stay in the game. I also want kids to understand that they can start changing the world right now. They don’t have to be celebrities or even grownups. They can advocate right in their own communities, and can start by volunteering, picking up trash, and recycling.
How might a teacher or librarian use your book in the classroom?
This book definitely has an Olympic Games hook which is coming up in July, but more than that, it is a social justice book that focuses on equity and can be used in conjunction with curriculum based on advocacy and change. A fifth grade teacher recently reached out to me saying she was focusing on reading about an athlete a day and teaching about their life and accomplishments. It was thrilling to hear how teachers are using the book in the classroom.
Can you share an exercise or activity that teachers can do with students after they’ve read your book?
One activity I love to do with kids when I’m presenting is to ask them to journal for a few minutes about what they can do to make the world a better place. I’ve also created a free downloadable activity package for parents and educators. Anyone who buys the book can go on my website and download the packet, which is filled with trivia, games, coloring, and journaling.
What books pair well with your book?
WE GOT GAME! covers so many topics that it is difficult to choose just a few books. I think it would pair well with any book that focus on female protagonists that fight for change, books about body positivity, and books focusing on the Olympic Games.
About the author. Aileen Weintraub is an award-winning author and editor. She has written more than fifty books for children and young adults for publishers including Hachette, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Sterling. Her best-selling book, Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference, won a 2018 Parents’ Choice Award. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Glamour, Huff Post, AARP, and many other publications. Her next book, Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir is forthcoming in Spring 2022. She lives in New York with her family and her dog Monte, who keeps her company while she writes. You can find out more about her at www.aileenweintraub.com