Level the Playing Field

By Kristina Rutherford

From 10 to 14 | 56 pages

The experience of being a professional athlete is very different for men and women. While men’s pro sports command throngs of fans, media attention, and money, many of the world’s top professional female athletes aren’t valued or recognized equally for their talent—even though female athletes prove time and time again that they have all the skill, drama, and rivalries of their male counterparts.

Level the Playing Field examines the root of these issues by taking readers through the history of women’s pro sports, exploring how far we have come in a relatively short time and exposing what ground is left to gain. The book provides first-person insight through exciting interviews with professional female athletes, including Canadian hockey player Cassie Campbell, American MMA fighter Miesha Tate, and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne. Along the way, author and sports journalist Kristina Rutherford covers important topics like opportunity, female role models, and stereotypes.

Drawing on examples from a wide range of sports, and complete with sidebars, photographs, sources, and an index, this is an informative and authoritative book that makes an important contribution to the movement for women’s acceptance in professional sport.
"Adopts a "you can do it" tone, which is enhanced by full-page color action photographs, several interviews with sports stars, a multicolor design...and letting women speak for themselves in quotations on most pages. Young girls especially will be inspired by this volume and the bright future for women's sports it portrays." - Kirkus Reviews
"Optimistic and informative...its empowering tone will encourage more young women to pursue careers in this expanding field of possibilities." - Booklist
"Will serve to inspire young dreams... Recommended for public and school libraries." - School Library Journal
"Wide-ranging...accessible...inspiring...sure to motivate young fans of both genders." - Quill & Quire
"An excellent guide to the history, legends, current stars and future trends of gender balance in sport. It is a book that every young woman, be she an athlete or not, should read. It sends a powerful message to young girls to fight for their place on the field, the court, the rink, the track, the pool or any other arena and it leaves readers with a very positive message - the future does hold more promise for future athletes around the world." - Canadian Children's Book News
"This book is an inspiration to young women who may or may not aspire to play professional sports, but will appreciate the opportunities earned by the hard work of women in the past and present to bring gender equality to pro-sports. Recommended." - School Library Connection
"Level the Playing Field has a highly readable writing style yet provides comprehensive coverage and enough facts to serve as a worthy reference source. Highly recommended." - Canadian Review of Materials
"Every school library should have a copy, and every teacher should read and share it." - Resource Links
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A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2016
Nominated for Hackmatack Children's Choice Awards in Atlantic Canada,
Nominated for the 2017 Saskatchewan Willow Awards,
Shortlisted for the 2017 Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award,
Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection,
Red Cedar Award Nominee 2017-18,

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