Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Mary Garber 2.24.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

"That's Miss Mary Garber.  And she doesn't care who you are, or where you're from, or what you are.  If you do something, she's going to write about you."

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Miss Mary Reporting
written by Sue Macy
illustrated by C.F. Payne
published by Simon & Schuster

I love this quote about Mary Garber.  A woman who followed her passion in a dignified and respectful manner her entire life.

We first meet Mary in this book as a young girl.  The reader learns about her background and where her passion for writing and sports began.  It was her father that passed along her love of sports.  Taking her to games and explaining the rules, Mary was an avid listener.  But she didn't only watch, she played the games she loved, especially football.  And not touch or flag, it was tackle football with Mary being the quarterback!  We also see that her love of writing started early, as well.  When forced to write letters to her grandparents, instead of just a regular letter, Mary wrote everything in the form of a newspaper.

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Mary's first break came from being a society reporter.  She learned to ask for help early, accepting fashion information from a friend when it came time to report what the ladies were wearing!  Even as she got her first break into sport reporting - when many sports writers enlisted in World War II - she needed help knowing players names since this was before programs detailed that information!

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I loved reading how Mary was inspired by Jackie Robinson.  She was impressed with not only his skills, but the way he handled himself in the face of discrimination.  She too, felt a form of discrimination.  Women initially were not allowed into the press box.  Mary was not allowed into the player's locker room so getting after game comments were difficult.  But by keeping her composure, Mary showed her determination and as a result, just like she was inspired by the way Robinson composed himself, others held her in the same high regard.  As a result, she earned many awards, accolades and was inducted into the sportswriters' hall of fame.

Just like anyone with true passion, giving up her work was difficult.  She worked until she was 70, but even then, continued to work just a few days a week for 16 more years!

The author included a variety of back matter at the end.  A timeline and additional sources are included.  It seems that with narrative informational texts these days there is quite a bit of quoted words by the subject.  The question becomes are these invented lines or actual.  I was glad to see that Sue Macy included the sources where she got the quotes she used.

Mary Garber is someone to be admired.  She was an inspiring lady who worked hard for what she passionately believed in.  I hope this book finds a way into your classroom or library!


  1. This sounds like a really interesting book and a great additon for women's history. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I have this book on my list, Michele, have never heard of her, and it sounds like an inspiring story. I suspect she did experience a lot of discrimination. Thanks for sharing so much about the book.

  3. Sounds so inspiring. I love stories about individuals who fight an unjust system in their own way, and never lose their sense of self or their self-worth. You don't always have to make the most noise to get noticed, you just have to be determined, and good at what you do. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. I love learning about new people through picture book biographies! Thank you for sharing her story with me--she looks like someone I really want to get to know.