Volunteers needed in February!   Click here to sign up.
 Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win

Last updated Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Author: Rachel Ignotofsky
Date of Publication: 2017
ISBN: 9781607749783
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2023

Synopsis: Women for the win! The fifty illustrated profiles in Women in Sports feature trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breaking female athletes in more than forty sports, including well-known figures like tennis player Billie Jean King and gymnast Simone Biles, as well as lesser-known champions like Toni Stone, the first woman to play baseball in a professional men’s league, and skateboarding pioneer Patti McGee. 

Women in Sports also contains infographics on topics that sporty women want to know about, such as muscle anatomy, a timeline of women’s participation in sports, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women’s teams.

Note to readers:
•  (I suggest perhaps reading the introduction of this book as a group and then skipping around based on what sports and people the kids are interested in to explore a variety of the women featured during the reading time and to engage with the excerpts in a way that will be child-led according to what piques their interest.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What sports do you like to play?
•  Do you have a favorite athlete, especially a woman athlete? (Why do you admire them? What sport do they play? What do you know about them?)


•  Excluded: denied access, kept out
•  Lobby (verb): seeking/trying to influence or change an issue
•  Status quo: the existing state of affairs in social or political (how things are/have been)
•  Social justice: fairness/justice in the distribution/equality of wealth, opportunities, and privilege in a society

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What have been some obstacles to women historically in being part of sports and sports competitions? Have those been fair? Are there still obstacles for women-identifying and girl athletes today?
•  Which of these athletes is most inspiring or sticks out to you the most?
•  Which of these athletes would you want to know more about?
•  Are you now interested in trying one of these sports?
•  Why do people fight (lobby) for change; what motivates them? I
•  s there some way you want to fight fight for change in a sport you play?

Craft ideas:
•  Cup and ball craft/game: using a paper cup or simple construction paper cone, string/yarn, and a ball (could be a bead, a wad of aluminum foil or wad of colored paper, or pom pom), make a game where you try to get the ball in the cup! Ideas for making these on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/february-2023-people-places-around-the-world/
•  Draw a portrait of your favorite athlete.
•  Write a letter to an athlete you admire.

Special activities:
•  Discuss what sports you play, would want to play, athletes or coaches you admire, what makes a good teammate on a sports team, people in your family who play sports, whether you're nervous to play sports, which ones you like and why, etc.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!