STARRED REVIEW
February 16, 2016

Celebrating one of the first female sports journalists in American history

By Sue Macy, illustrated by C.F. Payne

Although she’s not well known today, Mary Garber, born a century ago in 1916, was a pioneering sports reporter of her time. Sue Macy’s engaging picture-book biography effectively captures the young Garber’s early love of sports, including football—which she not only watched but also played.

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Although she’s not well known today, Mary Garber, born a century ago in 1916, was a pioneering sports reporter of her time. Sue Macy’s engaging picture-book biography effectively captures the young Garber’s early love of sports, including football—which she not only watched but also played.

Like other women in the 1940s, Garber found more doors open to her when men left for World War II. She was able to move from her job as a society newspaper reporter (not at all her cup of tea) to take over the sports section. After the war, she continued to report on sports, covering such milestones as Jackie Robinson’s first year with the Dodgers in 1947.

C.F. Payne’s evocative mixed-media illustrations help to provide young readers with historical context for the challenges faced by pioneering reporters like Garber. One especially effective illustration is Garber wearing a press box ID tag that clearly states that women and children are not admitted. She also broke new ground by covering high school games in Winston-Salem’s segregated schools.

Garber had a remarkable and lengthy career doing exactly what she loved best—writing about sports and athletes. Although she officially retired at age 70, she continued to write for the Winston-Salem Journal until she was 86. In addition to an author’s note, Miss Mary Reporting includes a helpful timeline, resources and source notes. Teachers and librarians will especially enjoy being able to share this biography with young sports fans and budding journalists. 

 

Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig.

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Miss Mary Reporting

Miss Mary Reporting

By Sue Macy, illustrated by C.F. Payne
Paula Wiseman
ISBN 9781481401210

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