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In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle Paperback – January 1, 1996
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They were a talented team with a near-perfect record but a reputation for choking in the crunch of the state playoffs. Finally, after five straight years of disappointments, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes found they just might have what it took to go all the way. This is a fierce, funny, and intimate look into their minds and hearts during one very special season. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.
From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Blais describes Amhert as a haven for the intellectuals, yuppies, and working class population. I think she went off sometimes and went away from the subject source at times. I felt the players deserved better introduction and background. Actual photographs would have been nice to complete the book as well and even a map of Massachusetts.
Blais does an adequate and sometimes superior job in covering the girls' basketball team from a small New England town. This book should be read by athletes, coaches, and players as well as family and friends. Supporting your local team boosts local morale and pride.
While Amherst is known as Emily Dickinson's hometown, it is a place of education and where a team inspired victory.
I loved the book because of those interests, but I was a bit disappointed that it didn't provide more that would catch the interests of people who are not already passionate about it. I was hoping I would be able to recommend it to the middle school girls I coach to provide them some inspiration, but it didn't fit that bill. It is more of an almost superficial study of some very committed girls without giving any insights as to why they were so committed. Everybody knows that it takes commitment to win championships. Where does that come from?
I recommend the book to the parents of girls who are passionate about basketball. I recommend it to coaches of girls teams. And I recommend it to anyone with ties to the Amherst area. Beyond that, it's an ok read, and pretty short so it won't take a whole lot of time.
p.s. unlike another reviewer, I didn't find a feminist agenda coloring the book.