In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle PDF ´ Girls, Hope is

In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle PDF ´ Girls, Hope is This book was recommended to me, as a father of girls, a coach of girls basketball, and a resident of Western Massachusetts near where the story is based And sadly, something rubbed me the wrong way about it The story follows a collection of high school girls who play varsity basketball for the Amherst Hurricanes, led by two all American players Jen Pariseau and Jamila Wideman and their coach Ron Moyer, in their pursuit of a championship Ms Blais, the author, had apparently expanded the book This book was recommended to me, as a father of girls, a coach of girls basketball, and a resident of Western Massachusetts near where the story is based And sadly, something rubbed me the wrong way about it The story follows a collection of high school girls who play varsity basketball for the Amherst Hurricanes, led by two all American players Jen Pariseau and Jamila Wideman and their coach Ron Moyer, in their pursuit of a championship Ms Blais, the author, had apparently expanded the book from an article in the New York Times Magazine and I couldn t help thinking that I probably would have preferred the original article Despite occasional heartfelt and revealing glimpses into the passions and dreams of girl athletes, there were long stretches of the book lacking substance, long detours that detracted from the narrative force of the book, and overblown stereotypes of Amherst that self consciously tried to explain the town to the rest of the world in a way that felt simplistic, derisive, and distanced me as a reader from the characters as real people I wondered if the parts that I hated the most were maybe trite filler content to expand the article to book length.As an example, this passage about February in western MA Colleagues and neighbors who were friendly in the summer, sharing their hippie bedspreads and their tabouli and their tofu scrambler on the lawn at Porter Phelps Huntington House along the banks of the Connecticut River during the Wednesday evening concerts, now ignore each other as they gingerly navigate streets burdened with snow and ice Aside from being rambling, the description is utterly unrepresentative of the families whose children were the subject of the book Tofu scrambler I get it people are hunkered down in the wintertime I get it Amherst has a reputation for being liberal Now get back to the kids Or the coach Or the narrative please The book definitely seemed to have trouble deciding its own subject Was there a major character or conflict No not really Was it mainly profiles of the girls Not well done and lacking even a team photo to match faces with names The story of winning a championship Even that was botched The book bounced from the western Massachusetts regional championship game to another game against Haverhill that was apparently the state championship game except it wasn t clear Instead of saying what the game significance was, the author instead focused on the origins of the Centrum arena in Worcester Wait, what Was the regional championship game really a state semi final Or did something get skipped Continuity was abandoned Consistency lost.The topic was great and overdue thank you Ms Blais for bringing us into the world of adolescent girls sports The intention was great The delivery, however, left me disappointed I saw the game I was there, at the Worcester Centrum.Their opponent, Haverhill, won the State championship the prior year, and they would win it the year after But, this time around, Amherst played electrifying basketball and scored a resounding victory.But, do not expect many pages dedicated to The Game.Nopethis is a story of Amherst, each player, their coach and some of their families.Lots of bits about their thoughts, hopes The author really did a thorough job discussing each player Bu I saw the game I was there, at the Worcester Centrum.Their opponent, Haverhill, won the State championship the prior year, and they would win it the year after But, this time around, Amherst played electrifying basketball and scored a resounding victory.But, do not expect many pages dedicated to The Game.Nopethis is a story of Amherst, each player, their coach and some of their families.Lots of bits about their thoughts, hopes The author really did a thorough job discussing each player But, The Game.I had seen exciting teams Wareham, Whitinsville Christian, St John s, Lee, et al And individuals who lit up the arena Ewing, McCall, Curley, Penn, Best, Harrington, etc.But, gadzooksthere was never a team that ran off 37 points in a rowagainst a top notch team Anyway, it is high school basketball Fun, exciting.The book delvesinto the inner thoughts of the individuals, and skimps on most of the game Three stars if you went to UMass in the early 1990s, or have another connection to the Amherst area at that time Three and a half stars if you attended a small seminar class with Blais while she was writing this book If none of those apply to you, you d probably give it two stars.Blais s class, we were reading current contemporary non fiction books, including Friday Night Lights At the end of the semester she held a panel with several of the authors we read, including Buzz Bissinger I feel t Three stars if you went to UMass in the early 1990s, or have another connection to the Amherst area at that time Three and a half stars if you attended a small seminar class with Blais while she was writing this book If none of those apply to you, you d probably give it two stars.Blais s class, we were reading current contemporary non fiction books, including Friday Night Lights At the end of the semester she held a panel with several of the authors we read, including Buzz Bissinger I feel this book was inspired by Bissinger s success with FNL.I enjoyed the descriptions of Amherst in 1992, because I was there then Not sure you d need so much detail about the town if you never lived there, though The tone of the town doesn t necessarily inform girls basketball, in the same way the flavor of Odessa, Texas informed football in FNL.A decent read about girls sports at a particular moment in history, before professional women s teams Though Blais tries to help us know most of the girls on the team, it feels a little skewed toward the point of view of Jen Pariseau, one of two co captains Perhaps Blais spenttime with Jen than other players.I immediately Googled Jamila Widener the other co captain after I finished this book, because the epilogue mentions her college basketball team Stanford playing in the final four of the NCAA tournament I was curious whether she had any other tournament appearances after the book was published I was not surprised to learn she played for several years in the WNBA I was surprised, however, to learn that she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with her famous father, John Edgar Wideman A main focus of the SI article is Jamila s brother, who murdered his roommate at a camp when he was 16 and is still serving a life sentence Why was this not mentioned in Blais s book Blais mentions the personal lives of all the players Certainly the team members must have been aware of the situation Perhaps many Amherst residents knew, as well I questioned the book and its spin, after learning of this omission.I understand that the focus of the book is girls, sports, basketball, and this particular season for this team Perhaps the shadow in Jamila s past is not mentioned out of respect for the Wideman family Also, no one Googled anything in 1993 We hardly used the internet at all, and had not been introduced to the world wide web How could Blais have known this would be how we proceed after reading nonfiction in this millenium Reading Amy Bass One Goal last month reminded me of this book which I read over 20 years ago and inspired me to re visit the story The similarities between In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle and One Goal are largely superficial, they are both basically sports stories about teams that lose one year and how they drive themselves to win the next It s a theme in sports journalism as old as sport itself I suspect In any case, this book has stood the test of time brilliantly It s kind of re Reading Amy Bass One Goal last month reminded me of this book which I read over 20 years ago and inspired me to re visit the story The similarities between In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle and One Goal are largely superficial, they are both basically sports stories about teams that lose one year and how they drive themselves to win the next It s a theme in sports journalism as old as sport itself I suspect In any case, this book has stood the test of time brilliantly It s kind of remarkable to read a story of teen athletes before the age of smart phones and social media But, seeing as One Goal is a story of teen athletes with smart phones and social media and the story still has most of the same elements I m not any less pleased with this book I read this book originally in 1996 the year after it was published and the year after the UConn women s basketball team s undefeated national championship that largely put women s collegiate basketball on the national media landscape The game had been relegated to the back pages if at all of sport sections I know that the folks out west and down south still resent UConn and the media dynamics that created the spectacle As someone who started covering women s college basketball in the late 1980 s and rode that media wave to covering his first Final Four that year I feel like I have been on the front lines for a long time This book is just a brilliant installment in the story Especially because it chronicles a season that took place before UConn s magic run in 94 95 this book really resonates The story of the Amherst Regional High School Hurricanes of 92 93 is the story of the seeds being sown for what we have today a professional women s basketball league ESPN prime time coverage, huge media crowds at games and the NCAA tournament, teams from all over the country competing at the Final Four and winning championships and girls nationwide playing the game and dreaming of that pro career Blais took her interest in a quirky local story and turned it into a story with lasting impact Girls today, the women playing college and pro ball today, should read this book and learn about the women who paved the way for them I had to check out the re issue of the book I own a 1995 copy to read Blais two page afterward detailing the lives of her protagonists after the events of the book and I was evendelighted, thanks to Google and the web, to read a story about a reunion of the team held 25 years after that 1993 title game you live sports stories, great sports journalism in the long form, and or women s basketball, READ THIS BOOK A really good book for any youth coach, woman and or girls advocates, or just person seeking inspiration I loved this book and it made me better at supporting girls and women in sports and business But it s also a good read with compelling characters. you know i wasn t a huge fan of the writing style, as it hung out in a weird limbo between literary narrative and non fiction journalism there was too much description of the quirks of the pioneer valley,than necessary to provide setting that said and done, this book is not good because of its literary prowess it is good because it tells the story of girls strong girls, bold girls, girls who never gave up it s a quick, light read. Four stars for helping me remember what it meant to be an athlete and part of a team Four stars for bringing to life all of the messiness that often precedes great moments Four stars for making the community such an amazing character in story of these young women. A great book about over coming challenges Super inspiring They were a talented team with a near perfect record But for five straight years, when it came to the crunch of the playoffs, the Amherst Lady Hurricanes a finesse high school girls basketball team of nice girls from a nice town somehow lacked the scrappy, hard driving desire to go all the way Now led by the strong back court of All American Jamila Wideman and three point specialist Jen Pariseau, and playing beyond their personal best, this is their year to prove themselves in the state championships Their season to test their passion for the sport and their loyalty to each other Their time to discover who they really are In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle is the fierce, funny, and intimate look into the minds and hearts of one group of girls and their quest for success and, most important of all, respect This book was like coming home a wonderful reminder of all of the reasons that I fell in love with sports.

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