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

Overview

When Babe Didrikson Zaharias set herself a goal, she was bound to achieve it. From a very young age, she was determined to become the greatest woman athlete of the twentieth century. Through her world-record setting performances at the 1932 Olympic Games and her later dominance of professional golf, her never-take-no-for-an-answer attitude brought her an unprecedented mix of fame and scorn. This intimate and extensively researched biography chronicles her incredible triumphs against adversity, beginning on the ...

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Overview

When Babe Didrikson Zaharias set herself a goal, she was bound to achieve it. From a very young age, she was determined to become the greatest woman athlete of the twentieth century. Through her world-record setting performances at the 1932 Olympic Games and her later dominance of professional golf, her never-take-no-for-an-answer attitude brought her an unprecedented mix of fame and scorn. This intimate and extensively researched biography chronicles her incredible triumphs against adversity, beginning on the childhood playgrounds of her rough Texas neighborhood and ending with her courageous final battle with cancer. The book also includes an author’s note, a bibliography, source notes, and numerous archival images.

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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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590789810
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 697,204
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Rich Wallace is the award-winning writer of many novels for children and teenagers, including Sports Camp, Wrestling Sturbridge, War and Watermelon, and the popular series Winning Season and Kickers. He is a former senior editor of Highlights magazine and writes the popular feature The Timbertoes for that publication. Wrestling Sturbridge was a selection in YALSA's Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults. He and his wife, Sandra Neil Wallace, live in Keene, NH. Visit richwallacebooks.com.

Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a television reporter, sportscaster, and news anchor in her native Toronto. A pioneer in the field, she was the first woman to cover the National Hockey League on network TV, and was among the first female sportscasters on ESPN. The Horn Book selected her as a promising new voice in children's literature. Visit sandraneilwallace.com.

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