More Than a Game: Race, Gender, and Politics in Sports

Millbrook/Lerner/. Sept. 2019. 64p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. Tr $34.65. ISBN 9781541540941.
Gr 5 Up–Sports are often a reflection of the current social issues facing the U.S. on a daily basis: union laws, work conditions, discrimination, and many others. Doeden covers both contemporary and past inequalities with a sensitive tone; in fact, he acknowledges that he ran this text past a sensitivity reader for input. The chapters are arranged to cover three different delicate topics: sports and race, gender and equality in sports, and sports and war. In each chapter, a multitude of athletic activities are covered and presented in a linear fashion with plenty of wonderful glossy photos. The author focuses heavily on the African American experience in sports, both historic and contemporary, including the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the chapter for gender and sexuality is a bit lopsided; there is only one transgender woman mentioned, and the longest entry is on a male college football player who came out as gay. Overall, women are not as heavily present as their male counterparts, even in their own chapter. Doeden provides a great deal of back matter, including source notes, a glossary, a selected bibliography, further reading, and an index.
VERDICT  There is no way this book could make everyone happy as its topics are so contentious and so broad, but Doeden tries by presenting well-researched and thoughtful facts that serve as a starting point for readers. A worthy purchase that will serve as a good first stop for school projects.

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