Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America

Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. 2005. 152pp. Lexile 1140.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Title IX, with good reason to celebrate. In 1972, 2 out of 54 girls played high school sports; today 2 out of 5 do. Title IX, one of the most successful federal laws of the twentieth century. This excellent chronological account uses charts throughout to show the law's effect over the years as schools reluctantly complied with the requirements for more equality for girls in sports (only one aspect of the law). Politicians, college administrators, and NCAA officials resisted, citing lack of girls' interest, an argument which was quickly proven false. Stories and sidebars highlight individual girls who wanted to participate in athletics but were denied because they were female, showing the unfair situation before the law--and until it was enforced.  Although girls and women still face discrimination in athletics, the gains have been extraordinary.  Photographs, cartoons, magazine covers, and memorabilia enhance this often moving narrative.  Source notes, timeline, further reading, bibliography, and index.

Reading Std #3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. Blumenthal uses cartoons and comic strips throughout the book to add humor and insight.  Have students analyze changes over time, if any, in the cartoons--the first one is from 1909--in political content and approach.