Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Ellen Emerson White
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Jill Cafferty is about to graduate from high school and embark on a journey as the Major League Baseball's first female recruit. As she navigates the tangled minority world, being the only girl among her teammates, coaches, and in the entire profession, Jill sarcastically deals with surmounting pressures. The glamour of professional sports is scratched away as Jill constantly hops from one game and city to the next. Struggling with the balance of being famous, feeling anxiety and uncertainty that would accompany anyone in Jill's position, and puzzling over how to be a role model for young women everywhere, Jill battles against all naysayers to prove to herself that she belongs in the major leagues.
This book is written more as a narrative than a novel. The plot is consistently shaky throughout the book, and the dialogue leaves something to be desired. However, Jill does have an important lesson to teach her peers. High school aged girls will especially appreciate this novel as the issue of gender bias is called to attention. Currently a hot topic, women obtaining uncharted, male dominated careers is an important subject to young females embarking on their own professional development. The complexity of an athletic career is also really brought to light as White introduces new characters and experiences to the reader. An abrupt ending leaves readers wondering what happens next for Jill. Perhaps the author left it to the readers to decide, or perhaps they must simply hang on with the hope of a sequel.
*Contains mild language and mild sexual content.