Dressed to Play

by Jennifer Manuel

A young athlete faces the pressure to redefine her self-image as more "girly."
Fourteen-year-old Jordan lives for basketball β€” she is a star player on her school team, and aspires to play women's college/pro basketball like her basketball heroes. But the people around her have been changing. Wyatt, the star of the boys' basketball team, and his teammates call her Jordan the Jock, hinting that she is less of a girl for being strong and athletic. The players on her team want their new uniforms to be short, tight and sexy, rather than the functional athletic wear Jordan wants. Her best friend is suddenly more concerned with how she looks β€” and attracting Wyatt β€” than basketball. Even Jordan's parents point out that boys don't like girls who are better at sports than they are. Jordan thinks she might have found an ally in a boy named Amin, who not only plays basketball, but clearly admires his older sister, who plays at the college level. But when Amin doesn't stand up for her against Wyatt and the teasing, she feels more alone than ever and wonders if she should just give up the game. But then she meets Amin's sister, who shows her that there is no shame in being a girl and a strong athlete.

About the Author

JENNIFER MANUEL was the 2017 winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was named "A Writer to Watch" by the CBC in 2016. Manuel teaches elementary and high school in the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples where she coaches the youth basketball team. She lives in Duncan, British Columbia.

Reviews

"In a straightforward narrative and simple style, Manuel hits on a key issue for girls in their maturation." G, Good
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"A relatively short book with vocabulary within reach of most middle years reading levels."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"The characters are realistic and deal convincingly with real-life problems young readers might face."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Awards

Starred Selection - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2020

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