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Welcome to the first in a 3-part series of interviews with Christine Brennan, renowned sports journalist, best-selling author and commentator. Brennan was a pioneer as a female sports journalist and is still today the most widely-read female sports columnist.
Brennan wrote Best Seat in the House, released in June 2008, as a personal memoir but also as a tribute to her late father, Jim Brennan, whom she dubs “the first women’s sports advocate I met.”
Below, Ms. Brennan and I talk about her book, what her father meant to her as a young girl in the 1960’s who was a huge sports fan, what today’s fathers mean to their daughters, and the progress made in accepting women in sports and sports journalism.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Ms. Brennan’s book for your dad for Father’s Day! At the end of this interview, she tells you how to get not just a copy of the book but a signed copy from the author herself.
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of the series of interviews with Christine Brennan!
Sports fiction for teens: As an athletic fanatic and sporty young adult author, I’m always on the hunt for an amazing book that features an athletic main character. And guess what? Some of the best teen and tween novels on bookshelves today feature a sporty protagonist.
Born to run? There’s a ton of great sporty books out there for cross-country and track lovers. Eileen Cook’s (http://www.eileencook.com) What Would Eileen Do? follows Emma on her quest to snag a track scholarship with some major boy bumps along the way. Pheobe in Tera Lynn Child’s (http://www.teralynnchilds.com/) sensation, Oh My Gods, is a die-hard cross-country runner. Even best selling author, Megan McCafferty’s (http://www.meganmccafferty.com/) main character Jessica Darling (Sloppy Firsts) runs cross-country in high school.
Are you a fastpitch fanatic? After moving to
Last month I received a note from a teacher at Apopka High School in Apopka, Florida who is a huge fan of “Pretty Tough” by Liz Tigelaar, the first book in our young adult fiction series.
JoJo says, “I loved it as a teacher who sees students just like the ones in the book. I loved it as a sister who I did get along with growing up…”
At Apopka High School, there is a reading event called “Oasis.” It has been going on for about 6-7 years. Any teacher can select a book to promote. The library makes a really nice poster of the teacher, the book and all the information so students can sign up. The students read the book and then meet during lunch in a special room in the media center to discuss the book over pizza and coke.
JoJo had never done an “Oasis” but since she LOVED the book so much, she organized a discussion for each of the 3 lunch shifts. Usually, teachers sign up anywhere from 8-16 students but more than 34 students read “Pretty Tough” and wanted to take part.
Through a friend of a friend of a friend, JoJo contacted us and asked for some Pretty Tough goodies to raffle off during the event. We were happy to oblige.
Here’s JoJo’s recap of the “Oasis,” including the girls’ ideas regarding film casting!
Everything worked out perfect today. We got into some interesting discussions about sisters, coaches, and school. The girls loved the t-shirts and the next book (“Playing with the Boys”) and want to know if we can do this again. .
The group had a bit of a hard time with the casting of the potential movie…here are the ones they came up with:
Krista: Blake Lively
Charlie: Dakota Fanning
Martie: Jada Pinkett Smith
Noah: Mike Vogel
Cam: Zac Efron
Brooks: Brenda Song
Pickle: I have a girl in my class who said she wants to be Pickle. She is a cute girl; very animated and plays soccer! I told her to make a video and we would send it to you!!
Thank you again for making today very special and memorable…One more thing…I re-read the book and took some notes to prepare simple questions for the raffle ticket as they entered. And I cried…again! Tears in the coffee this morning as I finished the last 20 pages!
Time to grade some papers…thanks again for everything.
Joanna “JOJO” Lowe
Jan. 27, 2008 – Chak De India (translation: “Come On India”) is a Hindi film about a women’s field hockey team. On the surface, the film is your basic, every-sports-movie-story about a disgraced player, here called Kabir Khan, who pulls together a team of misfits to do the impossible — here win the World Championship against the six-time trophy-winning Australian Women’s team.
Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan (aka King Khan), plays the coach at the heart of the film. According to international sources, Khan is bigger than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt combined. Whoa – this guy’s hot! The script is inspired by the life of former Indian Hockey Goalkeeper and coach of the women’s Indian Hockey team, Mir Ranjan Negi, and his contribution in driving the women’s Indian Hockey team to win the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester.
We start when Kabir, India’s team captain and most successful Center Forward of all time, flubs a crucial penalty against Pakistan and is castigated by his nation. An Islamic last name and a meteoric temper don’t help his case and Kabir is labeled as a traitor involved in match fixing. He leaves his hometown along with his mother and goes into exile.
We’re not JUST jocks. We like to read too. And maybe even discuss a book or author. So hunker down and relax with one of our book recommendations. Nothing like some mental gymnastics!
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