Girls With Guts!

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday! I never knew how Title IX came to be until I read GIRLS WITH GUTS: THE ROAD TO BREAKING BARRIERS AND BASHING RECORDS by Debbie Gonzales. What better way to tell about the landmark legislation that opened the door to girls’ athletics than to start with some history and highlights of female athletes who broke barriers and paved the way!


Title: Girls With Guts! The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records

Written by: Debbie Gonzales

Illustrated by: Rebecca Gibbon

Suitable for ages: 6-10

Themes/topics: sports, girls, social change

Look at you…springing, kicking, dribbling, and pitching it down the pike.
Girl, you are amazing!

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when girls were not encouraged to play sports. It’s true. Athletic programs funded by the US government were once for boys only. That was the rule.


A celebration of the strength, endurance, and athleticism of women and girls throughout the ages, Girls With Guts! keeps score with examples of women athletes from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, sharing how women refused to take no for an answer, and how finally, they pushed for a law to protect their right to play, compete, and be athletes.

Activities and Resources:   Educator Guide 

Why I like this book:

We have so many books now about amazing women athletes, lots of inspiring biographies. But getting the long view of the history of women in sports allows us to put it all in perspective. Gonzales shares a string of fabulous females who broke through when participating in sports wasn’t accepted…all the way to the 1970s when women pushed for social change and Title IX finally came along. Opportunities opened up for young girls and accomplished female athletes began to flourish. And now, just look at the US Women’s Soccer Team! WOOHOO! And this means so much more when you can see the long journey of women and girls in sports.

There’s a great timeline in the back matter and an extensive bibliography.

You can visit the author HERE. Deb Gonzales also creates teacher guides, does a podcast, and much more! 


Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.

Visit the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on Kid Lit Frenzy on Wednesdays for more great nonfiction books for kids!


6 thoughts on “Girls With Guts!

  1. This sounds great! I plan to write a review soon of OUT OF LEFT FIELD by Ellen Klages. It’s historical fiction that incorporates the real women who played baseball before they were banned from the sport. I LOVED the book. I cried both from frustration and at other times joy. I highly recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book. My mother played basketball in competition and then after WWII ended, rules changed, pushing girls and women back. I only got to play within my school in intramurals. I’m glad for changes and this book shows who helped!


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