Project Description


Ladies First

Women Athletes Who Made a Difference

by Ken Rappoport

A dozen of the twentieth-century’s greatest female athletes show how they made a lasting impact not only in their sport but also on society.

Veteran author and journalist Ken Rappoport showcases pioneering women, from tennis pro Althea Gibson, the first African-American woman to win at Wimbledon, to Susan Butcher, four-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Each dramatic, action-packed profile shows how these athletes overcame discrimination against their gender, and sometimes their race, and challenged popular misconceptions about women and sports. Young readers will find in each of these women the courage, perseverance, and dedication that made them great athletes during their own times and strong role models for today. A bonus chapter at the end highlights The All-American Red Heads basketball team.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-338-2
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Page Count: 192
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-534-8
Publication Date: 3/1/2010
Page Count: 192
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
AR Level: 5.7
F&P: U, Gr 5, Genre B
Lexile: 760L
Themes: Courage Determination, Discrimination, Gender, Perseverance, Sports
BISAC 1: JNF007120 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
BISAC 2: JNF007100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Sports & Recreation
BISAC 3: JNF007020 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Historical


“Rappoport writes with an accessible, pared-down language that will easily draw readers into the action, beginning each section with a suspenseful, you-are-there account of the athlete just before a great triumph… a fine introduction that students will want for report research or personal inspiration.” ―Booklist

“Rappoport writes lively, limited profiles of these athletes…Adolescents interested in the accomplishments of women during the 20th century will find this an entertaining and easy read.” ―School Library Journal

“Rappaport recounts the very real hurdles each woman had to overcome and their achievements much as a sportscaster at the Olympics when, a level perfect for ten-to twelve-year olds who are just learning to be all that they can be. The stories are inspiring and useful for young teens.” ―Signal Journal


Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award (Nominee) ―Cleveland Public Library, 2005

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Meet the Author

Ken Rappoport is the author of dozens of sports books for young readers and adults. He worked as an Associated Press writer for thirty years, covering every major professional and college sport. He lives in New Jersey.