Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber by Sue Macy, illustrated by C. F. Payne

Published by Simon and Schuster


Summary:  Mary Garber was considered a bit of a tomboy growing up in North Carolina.  She played tackle football on the boys’ team and loved going to football games with her father.  After college, she knew she wanted to be a reporter, but her first job on the society page didn’t exactly suit her.  During World War II, most sports writers went to war, so Mary got to fill in, a job she continued for the next forty years.  Not only did she blaze trails for women sportswriters, but she was among the first to report on African American teams and players, most famously Jackie Robinson.  If a kid tried hard, Miss Mary would report his or her achievements in a positive way, resulting in adults who sometimes thanked her for her coverage many years later.  As the author notes at the end, “Mary Garber didn’t set out to change the world, but change it she did.”  End matter includes author’s note, a timeline, and additional resources.  40 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  A lively biography of a little-known woman who followed her passion and opened doors for others as she went.  The slightly goofy illustrations lend a light-hearted feel to the text.

Cons:  Mary looks pretty much exactly the same in the illustrations from childhood through retirement.

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