Play Like a Girl turns 1 year old today. It has been an incredible year.
I’ve been reflecting on the researching and writing stages of Play Like a Girl a lot lately. My time in Kibera listening to the KGSA ladies tell their stories remains one of the biggest honors of my professional life. I learned so much in the writing stage, too, and am grateful to the folks who believed in the project. Stories of marginalized women need the champions in the industry to make it. My agent Dawn Frederick, my editor Laura Duane and my distributor Debra Woodward were three such champions.
Once the book goes to print, a whole new season starts. Readers interact with the story, and their stories join the mix, too. While leading discussion, asking for feedback or while signing books, I heard so many stories:
“Will you make it out to my daughter?”
“Yes, tell me about your daughter.”
Deeply believing in KGSA and the importance of educating girls, I worked hard to get the book out into the world over the last year and was amazed at the unexpected places the path led. My mountaintop moment from the book promotion season remains hearing Asha and Teka tell their stories at our launch at Open Book. It was important to me to welcome them into my home after they welcomed me into theirs. I also found myself sitting on an ELCA panel about educating girls and women in Tuscon, standing next to Caren Stelson giving a talk at Common Good Books, and meeting a slew of fierce female soccer players all over the country. In a San Diego mansion, the Mall of America ivivva store, a wicked snowstorm in Wisconsin, and the USA Cup just to name a few. It has been remarkable at every turn.
Here are some simple ways to help me celebrate Play Like a Girl’s birthday:
-Keep working for gender equity in education and sports locally (Like a Girl) and globally (KGSA). Consider supporting KGSA!
-If you haven’t yet, read it! If you aren’t a reader, it is available on audio, and folks have been loving the audio version.
-If you have read it, write a short review (a few sentences will do), and post it on:
–Post this video on Facebook and Instagram and tag folks who like soccer, play sports, or may be interested. Ask them to share it and pass it on.
–Recommend the book or give it as a gift to people in your lives including teachers, soccer coaches, rotary members, book club members and store owners.
–Make sure your local library and your favorite bookstore carry it.
–Images are powerful. Take a selfie with the book and post it.
Thank you for all your encouragement through the researching, writing and launching seasons. It got me through.