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In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle

In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle

4.2 11
by Madeleine Blais

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They Were a Talented Team with a Near-Perfect Record. But for Five Straight Years, When it Came to The Crunch of the Playoffs, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes-A "Finesse" High-School Girls' Basketball Team of Nice Girls from A Nice Town-Somehow Lacked the Scrappy, Hard-Driving Desire to Go all the Way. Now, Led by the Strong Back-Court of All-American Jamila Wideman


They Were a Talented Team with a Near-Perfect Record. But for Five Straight Years, When it Came to The Crunch of the Playoffs, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes-A "Finesse" High-School Girls' Basketball Team of Nice Girls from A Nice Town-Somehow Lacked the Scrappy, Hard-Driving Desire to Go all the Way. Now, Led by the Strong Back-Court of All-American Jamila Wideman and Three-Point Specialist Jen Pariseau, and Playing beyond Their Personal Best, this is Their Year to Prove Themselves in the State Championships. Their Season to Test Their Passion for the Sport and Their loyalty to Each Other. Their Time to Discover Who they Really are. In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle is the Fierce, Funny, and Intimate look into the Minds and Hearts of one Group of Girls and Their Quest for Success and, Most Important of all, Respect.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Pulitzer Prize-winner Blais pokes gentle fun at Amherst, Mass., where an infuriated teen-aged athlete in the heat of the fray may yell, ``You ignore your inner child!'' you suspect this will be a special book. And it is, as the reader follows the Amherst High girls basketball team-the Lady Hurricanes-in the 1992-93 season, from game one on December 15 to the final game on March 16, when they all but obliterated Haverhill, 74-36, to win the state championship. While this is the story of well-bred, upper-middle class, genteel girls who learned to be tough, it is also a picture of a changing period in American sports history, when a town rallied around its female athletes in a way that had previously been reserved for males. Alternately funny, exciting and moving, the book should be enjoyed not only by girls and women who have played sports but also those who wanted to but let themselves be discouraged. (Jan.)
Library Journal
This oddly titled book chronicles the 1992-93 girls' basketball season at Amherst High School in Massachusetts. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Blais manages to tell the story both as an outsider (as when describing intellectual small-town Amherst with its liberal quirks) and as an insider, privy to the players' thoughts and diary entries. The central themes are the team's intense camaraderie, as characterized by their rallying cry "Hoop Phi" (i.e., "the thing that people search for in their lives") and the complex emotions among the players. Their constantly joking coach knows just when to push, as when he transforms Kathleen's unaggressiveness into meanness by inventing her alter ego, "Skippy." This will be of interest to high school athletes and their parents. Recommended for public and high school libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/94.]-Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C.
School Library Journal
YAA much-needed addition to sports writings for women, this is a true account of the development of a state championship high school basketball team from Amherst, MA. Extremely readable and compact, it covers a disappointing season's end to a triumphant one the following year. It is anecdotal and details the physical and psychological efforts each of the Hurricanes puts into the development of her team. Individual stories cover jealousy, antagonisms, practice habits, diverse family situations, and sexual harassment. The integration of personalities combines to sweep the young women into a tremendously strong steamroller of a team. Two of the stars, both sure of college scholarships upon graduation, get a lot of input, but lesser team members with interesting views and problems are also featured. There is a wonderful feeling of community in this small town New England setting. The building of the will to win as a team recalls such movies as "Hoosiers" or "A League of Their Own." A compelling choice.Frances Reiher, Kings Park Library, Fairfax, VA

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Warner Books ed
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)
1150L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Madeleine Blais, a former reporter for the Miami Herald, is currently a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts. A collection of her articles, The Heart Is An Instrument: Portraits in Journalism, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 1992.

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In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RALONG-2010 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a basketball team that works as hard as they can to reach their goal. I really enjoyed this book because it showed hardwork and teamwork and being a basketball player myself, I know all about that. This book started out slow but grew to be very interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves basketball or just sports in general. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is about a basketball team that pushes theirselves to get what they want. They never give up and do what they have to to reach their goals. I would recommend this book to anyone that knows and loves the game of basketball. I followed the story easily and it was a hard book to put down. There were some rather boring parts, but also parts with a ton of excitment. I really enjoyed this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is inspiring to all girls who want to play or do play basketball. This book shows you that your dreams can come true if you work hard as a team and individual. These girls work hard as they possibly could and they were also very dedicated to this team. This book shows how they felt on and off the court. They came together to form somewhat a family on the court which helped them through the tough parts of the game. This book inspired me to work hard in playing basketball on my high school team. I highly recommend this book to other basketball player girls or guys.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story shows how a group of girls do not give up on their dream to beating their rival school. They push themselves hard to get what they want. The girls felt like a family with each other and the seniors took control of the team. Since they have not gone far in the distric torney in five years this year is goin to be different this yeah is their year. With hope and support from their town they push and push to get what they want.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book and it was spectacular!! I couldn't put it down! I was enthralled by it and I totally recommend it! Anyone should read it, but especially people who know about basketball so they can relate! It is one of the best books I've ever read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My coach let me borrow this book. I picked it up not knowing what to expect and could't put it down. It was written extremely well, plus the content is inspiring. I've learned more about the way I want to play my game. I highly recommend this touching true story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read 'In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle' because we thought that it would be a good, interesting book that we would remember forever. After reading the book we found that it was kind of boring, and hard to get into. We did like how Madeleine Blais related to the story, explained the setting, and described the main characters. We would have been more interested in this book if we played Basketball. The author's weakness in telling this story was talking too much about things that had nothing to do with the topic of Basketball. We found those parts boring and tended to skip threw them. 'Hoop Phi is of an intangible, untouchable breed. It satisfies the soul and a life-long need. We represented our school, represented our sex, now maybe both will get some well-earned respect.' To us this quote means that Hoop Phi is the Hurricanes motto for that Basketball season. It means that they were so disappointed about loosing to Northampton the previous year, they were not going to back down. The Hurricanes were going to give every thing they had to be the best, the champions. The book had a lineup of memorable characters. They showed heart and soul in every practice and every game. The Lady Hurricanes showed skill, courage, discipline and grace. But even more, for generations of women who came before them, the represented the first signs of progress in the struggle for equal opportunity and recongnition in sports. Though Madeleine Blais did a magnificent job describing the main characters, we found ourselves wanting to know more about the secondary characters. When a person reads a book, they tend to pick a character from the story that they relate to. We did not feel we could relate to either the main characters Jamila or Jen. If we new more about the other characters lives we might have made a connection and enjoyed the book more. After reading this book we thought that it was high time the public had a story that captured the positive impact team sports have on girls. We hope that these types of stories continue to come out, and make an impact on young women regardless of the sport or activity portrayed. The members of our group participate in track, cross country, and gymnastics. We already realize how participating on a team impacts our lives and that was the part of
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this is a great book... all of the teenagers out there that play the game of basketball should read this book ... it truely is AMAZING!