Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias

by Rich Wallace, Sandra Neil Wallace
     
 

Babe Didrikson Zaharias had one driving goal: to become the greatest athlete who ever lived. And she made good on that promise with a meteoric rise to famed basketball player, Olympic medalist, and top female golfer. But there was more to Babe than just sports. Noted novelists and sportswriters Rich and Sandra Wallace expose the many controversies surrounding

Overview


Babe Didrikson Zaharias had one driving goal: to become the greatest athlete who ever lived. And she made good on that promise with a meteoric rise to famed basketball player, Olympic medalist, and top female golfer. But there was more to Babe than just sports. Noted novelists and sportswriters Rich and Sandra Wallace expose the many controversies surrounding this famous female athlete—her upbringing, personality, marriage, and even her early death. This action-packed story of a womanESPN ranks as #10 of the top North American athletes of the twentieth century also includes personal and professional photographs, quotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Babe Didrikson Zaharis is perhaps the most accomplished athlete that young people have never heard of. . . Her life story as drawn from contemporary news articles and interviews is fascinating and inspirational, and it is punctuated with photographs like Zaharis shooting targets with Amelia Earhart and giving Sam Snead tips on his golf swing. This is part sports journalism, part narrative nonfiction, and part proof that professional athletes can be exemplary role models for young people." --Booklist

". . . The life of the renowned athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias offers the combination of sports, entertainment and celebrity that will interest young readers, and the Wallaces play it well." --Kirkus Reviews

"The Wallaces pair up to tackle a great historical sports figure in this engrossing biography. . . Ample historical background is interlaced within the narrative, giving context that will help readers understand Didrikson Zaharias's lasting impact. Especially engaging are the anecdotes that illustrate the subject's faults as well as her strengths. . . Extensive back matter makes this title perfect for reports, and this exemplar text should be a staple for all collections looking to diversify their biography, sports, and women's history offerings." --School Library Journal

School Library Journal
02/01/2014
Gr 5 Up—The Wallaces pair up to tackle a great historical sports figure in this engrossing biography. Mildred Ella "Babe" Didriksen Zaharias may not be as well-known as Babe Ruth, but she broke countless records, leaped over age-old boundaries, and paved the way for professional women athletes across several arenas. A champion basketball player, an Olympic track-and-field star, and career golfer, Babe didn't let obstacles stand in the way of her success. The authors detail her trajectory from the daughter of a Norwegian immigrant born in a working-class Texas neighborhood to record wins at the 1932 Olympics (still not broken to this day) to her last days as she fought cancer. Chapters are organized around the various hurdles she faced ("Babe vs. The Boys," "Babe vs. Tradition"). Text is broken up by illuminating quotations and dynamic period photos. Ample historical background is interlaced within the narrative, giving context that will help readers understand Didriksen Zaharias's lasting impact. Especially engaging are the anecdotes that illustrate the subject's faults as well as her strengths: Babe's showmanship and drive often alienated her teammates, but her strength and leadership also enabled her to provide for her ailing parents and impoverished siblings. Extensive back matter makes this title perfect for reports, and this exemplar text should be a staple for all collections looking to diversify their biography, sports, and women's history offerings.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-29
Born in 1911 to Norwegian immigrant parents in Port Arthur, Texas, from her earliest years, Babe Didrikson wanted to compete. She grew up in a time when voting rights for women were still a hot-button issue, and her desire for an athletic career flew in the face of society's expectations. Babe's ambition, self-promotion and outspoken manner often found her at odds with other competitors and members of the press. Despite this, her influence was wide-ranging, making an impact on team sports and the Olympic Games as well as encouraging the growth of women's golf. This energetic biography is at its best when it reveals how Babe's drive changed so many areas in women's sports even as society resisted their inclusion. The Wallaces handle the abrasive aspects of Babe's personality as frankly as they highlight her successes. The volume has a bold design and is lavishly illustrated with photographs; it provides a timeline, source notes, a bibliography, an index and a set of frequently asked questions that allows the writers to explore additional aspects of Babe's life without slowing the lively narrative. The life of the renowned athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias offers the combination of sports, entertainment and celebrity that will interest young readers, and the Wallaces play it well. (Biography. 9-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590789810
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
03/01/2014
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
828,037
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
930L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 14 Years

Meet the Author


Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster before writing realistic fiction and nonfiction for young readers. A pioneer in the journalism field, she was the first woman to cover the National Hockey League on network TV. Selected as a promising new voice in children’s literature by The Horn Book, Wallace’s titles have been named to state and national awards lists including Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, and Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. Visit sandraneilwallace.com.

Rich Wallace has written more than three dozen novels for children and teenagers, beginning with Wrestling Sturbridge, which the American Library Association selected as one of the top 100 YA books of the twentieth century. His recent forays into nonfiction include the acclaimed Babe Conquers the World and Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights (Calkins Creek, 2016). Visit richwallacebooks.com.

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