VOYA - Linda RobertsWith the tremendous success of the women's gymnastics, basketball, softball, and soccer teams at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the romance and excitement surrounding women's figure skating, and the formation of the American Basketball League and Women's National Basketball Association, requests for biographies of female athletes have steadily increased. The Female Sports Stars series will be a welcome addition to library collections to meet this demand. Although written by different authors, the quality of the writing is consistent throughout the series. The other titles in the series are Superstars of Women's Basketball by J. Kelly, Superstars of Women's Figure Skating by Pohla Smith, Superstars of Women's Golf by Barry Wilner, and Superstars of Women's Tennis by Martin Schwabacher. Each book features an eight- to ten-page biography of the most important athletes in the sport, including "pioneers." In most of the titles an introduction provides an overview or history of the sport and an afterword that might include brief bios of up-and-coming athletes, remarks about the current status of the sport, statistics, or a chronology, depending on the volume. Each volume has plenty of black-and-white photographs, an index, and suggestions for further reading. Wide margins, borders, and lots of white space make them easy to read. Athletes featured in Superstars of Women's Track and Field mainly are runners-sprinters and marathoners: Florence Griffith Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Wilma Rudolph, Grete Waitz, and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Field athletes are not really mentioned, although Joyner-Kersee is a heptathlete. The biographies feature personal information but are heavy on statistics and dates. Superstars of Women's Gymnastics, featuring Nadia Comeneci, Olga Korbut, Shannon Miller, and Mary Lou Retton was a little more interesting to read because it did not include as many statistics. This volume may well be the most popular following the stunning success of the Magnificent Seven U.S. women's gymnastics team at last year's Olympics and their national tour afterward. Although Shannon Miller is the only one of the seven to have a full biography in this volume, three of the other six have brief bios in the last chapter, "Today's Stars." This series, written at the upper elementary level, would be more appealing with a few color photos and better editing (I found a number of typographical errors), but it will be popular. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: Superstars of Women's Gymnastics and Superstars of Women's Track and Field. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >