Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory (Paperback)

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“A thrilling, cinematic story. I loved every minute I spent with these bold, daring women whose remarkable journey is the stuff of American legend.” —Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

The Boys in the Boat
meets A League of Their Own in this true story of a Depression-era championship women’s team.


In the early 1930s, during the worst drought and financial depression in American history, Sam Babb began to dream. Like so many others, this charismatic Midwestern basketball coach wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm near the tiny Oklahoma college where he coached, Babb recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education in exchange for playing on his basketball team, the Cardinals.  

Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices that their families would face, the women joined the team. And as Babb coached the Cardinals, something extraordinary happened. These remarkable athletes found a passion for the game and a heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach--and they began to win.

Combining exhilarating sports writing and exceptional storytelling, Dust Bowl Girls takes readers on the Cardinals’ intense, improbable journey all the way to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson. Lydia Reeder captures a moment in history when female athletes faced intense scrutiny from influential figures in politics, education, and medicine who denounced women’s sports as unhealthy and unladylike. At a time when a struggling nation was hungry for inspiration, this unlikely group of trailblazers achieved much more than a championship season.

About the Author


Lydia Ellen Reeder is the grandniece of Sam Babb, the extraordinary basketball coach featured in Dust Bowl Girls. She spent over two years conducting research for the book and also wrote and narrated a short film about the Cardinal basketball team, currently on view at the Oklahoma Historical Society website: youtu.be/fokmbnWmp50. As a former associate editor at Whole Life Times in Los Angeles and Delicious Magazine in Boulder, Colorado, Reeder has worked for many years as a copywriter and editor on behalf of corporate and organizational clients and most recently developed e-learning for a national nursing association. She lives in Denver with her husband and enjoys hiking in the mountains of Colorado. Dust Bowl Girls is her first book.

Praise For…


“Still, like other good sports histories, this one allows us to sit in the stands and watch a forgotten era when times were tough, odds were long, and underdogs rose to the occasion.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“Fascinating.” 
Garden & Gun.com


“Lydia Reeder has crafted a thrilling, cinematic story that seems destined for the big screen (please cast Saoirse Ronan as Doll Harris!). I loved every minute I spent with the bold, daring women of the Cardinals basketball team, whose remarkable journey to victory is the stuff of American legend.”
—Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy 

“As she tells the amazing story of Babb and his underdog women's basketball team, Reeder also reveals the challenges facing serious female athletes during the 1920s and '30s, including the perceived risk of ‘destroying their feminine image by invading a man's world.’ Sports fans and general readers alike are sure to find the story both worthwhile and entertaining. A heartwarmingly inspirational tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Equal parts social history and sports legend come to life . . . Of special interest for students of women’s studies and a strong contender for a film adaptation. With high appeal to sports fans and historians, this hidden gem of a story deserves a place in all public library collections.”
Library Journal, starred review 

“[A] surprising underdog story . . . They demonstrated the perseverance necessary to overcome the political and financial difficulties facing women in sports . . . Engaging storytelling.”
Publishers Weekly    

“Long before the influence of Title IX, a small college in Oklahoma, under the direction of a volunteer coach, was actively involved in recruiting women athletes. Based on extensive research and told with the talented storytelling ability of the author, Dust Bowl Girls is an important and enjoyable story."
—Virginia Peters, Ph.D., Former Coach of Women's Basketball and Director of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma
                      
Dust Bowl Girls reads like something pulled from the imagination of a Hollywood dreamer. However, it is a true story of a group of Oklahoma Dust Bowl farm girls melded together by a one-legged coach into the finest basketball team of the Depression era. This epic sports story is the stuff of which legends are made.” 
W. Lynne Draper, Former President and CEO of the Jim Thorpe Association and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and recipient of the NFL Players Association National Award of Excellence

“Fun. Heartwarming. The story of a little-known but important moment in the history of basketball and women's sports in general.”
Erica Westly, author of Fastpitch: The Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game
                           
“For so long, women have been told they couldn't or shouldn't. In Dust Bowl Girls, Lydia Reeder tells the story of pioneers in women's sport who refused to listen. In a mix of history and sports thriller, Reeder unearths the story a rag tag group of women - some of them teenagers - who took the first steps to proving women could be athletes too. It's an inspiring story.”
Jen A. Miller, author of Running: A Love Story

“This is a multilayered history and a compelling story as the women who played basketball for OPC reveal much about their time and place. This one seemingly minor aspect of women’s sport in rural Oklahoma is one worth knowing and worth reading.”
NY Journal of Books

“Destined to become a classic of sports literature.”
—Patrick B. McGuigan, CapitolBeatOK 

“A compelling, heartwarming story of a group of college students determined to accomplish the impossible. This is a book you can’t put down.”
The Denver Post

If you are a sports fan and don’t know the story of the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals from Durant, do yourself a favor and pick up the new book Dust Bowl Girls…(It’s) another great sports story about an underdog whose triumphs inspired a community that badly needed a lift in the midst of hard economic times. I can’t wait for the movie.”
The Oklahoman

“A vivid, compelling story.”
TheWichita Eagle

                                                                      

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616207403
ISBN-10: 161620740X
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English

How to read more

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( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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