Play Like a Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Misty Wilson, illustrated by David Wilson

Published by Balzer + Bray

Summary:  Misty’s always loved competing with the boys, so when they tell her football’s not for girls, she decides to prove them wrong. It’s the summer before seventh grade, and she convinces her best friend Bree to sign up for seventh grade football with her.  Practices in the August heat are grueling, and the girls have to learn new skills like tackling and learning how to wear football pads.  It proves to be too much for Bree, but Misty sticks with it and becomes an important part of the team.  Most of the boys eventually accept her as a teammate, but a couple never do, which results in some uncomfortable situations.  In between practices and games, Misty deals with friendship issues, a crush on a teammate, and being part of a large blended family.  In the end, she learns the importance of being herself and surrounding herself with people who believe in her.  Includes an author’s note with some additional information about her football career.  272 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  This husband-and-wife team has produced an excellent graphic memoir that will inspire kids to try something outside of their comfort zones.  Sure to appeal to the many fans of the ever-growing middle school graphic novel genre.

Cons:  I was bummed that Misty quit football after seventh grade.

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