In These Girls, Hope Is A Muscle

In These Girls, Hope Is A Muscle

3.96 (743 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.96 (743 ratings by Goodreads)

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Originally published in 1995 to huge critical acclaim and a finalist for the NBCC Award for Nonfiction, Madeleine Blais's In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle is a modern sports writing classic. Now expanded and updated with a new epilogue, Blais's book tells the story of a season in the life of the Amherst Lady Hurricanes, a powerhouse girls' high school basketball team from a small western Massachusetts college town. The Hurricanes were a talented team with a near-perfect record, but for five straight years, when it came to the crunch of the playoffs, they somehow lacked the scrappy, hard-driving desire to go all the way. Now, led by senior guards Jen Pariseau, a three-point specialist, and Jamila Wideman, an All-American phenom, this was the year to prove themselves. It was a season to test their passion for the sport and their loyalty to each other, and a chance to discover who they really were.

As an off-season of summer jobs and basketball camps turns to fall, as students arrive and the games begin, Blais charts the ups and downs of the team and paints a portrait of the wider Amherst community, which comes to revel in the athletic exploits of their girls. Finally, a women's team was getting the attention they deserve. And the Hurricanes were richly deserving; these teenage girls are fierce and funny, smart and ambitious, and they are the heart of this gripping book. In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle is a classic sports book, a timeless look at girls' athletics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 139 x 209 x 17.78mm | 272.16g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0802121454
  • 9780802121455
  • 1,253,416

Review quote

Praise for In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle:

A National Bestseller

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

"[In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle] will satisfy your desire for a book with a sharp human-interest angle-competitive girls becoming women-and game-time excitement."-New York Times

"Beautifully written . . . A celebration of girls and athletics." USA Today

"Joyful . . . The reader gets a real sense of these girls and their dreams." New York Times Book Review

"Extraordinary." Baltimore Sun

"Tender and upbeat . . . Wonderfully wry . . . A delight to read." Philadelphia Inquirer

"A beautiful book . . . The art of athleticism is depicted in its essence."-Denver Post

"Flows like a novel . . . These basketball players show us what women can do when they work together as a team." Atlanta Constitution

"Engrossing . . . Better than the best pep talk, this book will kindle your pride in your own unique, feminine strength." New Woman

"A special book . . . Alternately funny, exciting and moving, the book should be enjoyed not only by girls and women who have played sports but also those who wanted to but let themselves be discouraged." Publishers Weekly

"A much-needed addition to sports writing for women . . . Extremely readable and compact . . . Compelling." School Library Journal

"Few journalists in the country can match the moves and magic of Madeleine Blais. She writes with a blend of subtlety, grace, and humor smoother than fine whiskey, and she has never been better than she is here. I thought that everything that needed to be said about high school sports in America had already been said. I was wrong."-Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights

"A fantastic account of a high school basketball team . . . A great book." Stefan Fatsis, author of A Few Seconds of Panic and WordFreak

"Blais's narrative gift has produced a touching, exciting book about a subject largely ignored until now, namely women athletes. Her story of a year in the life of a high school basketball team and its hometown goes far beyond the obvious to illuminate how people really feel, how things really work."-Anne Bernays

"This book is the product of a perfect marriage. The subject is timely and fascinating, and Madeleine Blais is a first-rate reporter and writer."-Tracy Kidder
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About Madeleine Blais

Madeleine Blais was a reporter for the Miami Herald for years before joining the faculty of the School of Journalism at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, Uphill Walkers, and The Heart Is an Instrument, a collection of her journalism.

Madeleine Blais lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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Rating details

3.96 out of 5 stars
- 743 ratings
5 36% (267)
4 35% (259)
3 21% (159)
2 4% (33)
1 3% (25)
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