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Dust Bowl Girls

Dust Bowl Girls

The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory

Book - 2017
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"At the height of the Great Depression, Sam Babb, the charismatic basketball coach of tiny Oklahoma Presbyterian College, began dreaming. Like so many others, he wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm, he recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education if they would come play for his basketball team, the Cardinals. Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices faced by their families, the women followed Babb and his dream. He shaped the Cardinals into a formidable team, and something extraordinary began to happen: with passion for the game and heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach, they won every game. Combining exhilarating sports writing and exceptional storytelling, Dust Bowl Girls conveys the intensity of an improbable journey to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson. And it captures a moment in American sports history when a visionary coach helped his young athletes achieve more than a winning season"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781616204662
Branch Call Number: 796.32363 R257d 2017
Characteristics: pages cm


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Petehere99 Jul 21, 2020

My wife watches 'A League of Their Own' a lot, and I must admit that film always chokes me up as well. So if you're a fan of that movie, or enjoyed the recent bestseller 'Boys in the Boat,' then I would highly recommend 'Dust Bowl Girls' by Lydia Reeder.

Set in the early 1930's depression-era Oklahoma, Dust Bowl Girls tells the true story of the Cardinals, the basketball team playing for the Oklahoma Presbyterian College for Girls. The players were mostly farm girls who loved the game of basketball and were thrilled for the opportunity to keep playing beyond high school. What were they up against? Pretty much everything that could be thrown at them. From the endless Great Depression to failing crops, and even pressure from men and women's groups who didn't believe females should be playing competitive sports, lest they become masculine and not marry and bear children. But the Cardinals had much going for them as well. They knew hard work from an early age. They knew self-discipline and sacrifice. They had a stoic coach who stressed teamwork, sportsmanship, and most of all believed in them. They also had to compete against arguably the greatest female athlete of the 20th century, Babe Didrikson, who was a champion in basketball, track and field, and golf.

The Cardinals had to practice at 4:00 a.m. so as not to disturb the men's teams. They had to hand crank the team bus, drive it over endless dirt roads, repair it, push it, and then win.You had to win. Because if you didn't, your team could easily be disbanded and forgotten. But thank goodness this story wasn't forgotten. Thank goodness for the Dust Bowl Girls.

Manateestarz Nov 25, 2017

An interesting portrait of a time and place and the rare opportunity that this group of athletic girls had.
There was some useful history in this book even for non-sport fans. For example, I learned that companies like the Dallas Shoe Company had professional women's basketball teams composed of employees. This was in the 1930's.

The only thing disconcerting about the book was the author's imagined dialogues between the characters . I guess she just had to imagine it, but there were times when this technique seemed a little too much

Feb 10, 2017

There is something awkward in the writing, but it is a great story and a good look at the politics of women's athletics 80 years ago.


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