Bustle Top Nonfiction January 2017!

Starred Review from Library Journal in the Sept 15 issue

*Reeder, Lydia. Dust Bowl Girls: A Team’s Quest for Basketball Glory. Algonquin. Jan. 2017. 304p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781616204662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616206536. SPORTS
“Now playing its 20th season, the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) is among America’s most successful women’s professional sports leagues. Yet, the struggling basketball league has only turned a profit in recent years, still working hard to put fans in the stands.  In this book first-time author Reeder introduces readers to Sam Babb, a remarkable man who saw past the Depression-era thinking that sports were less “ladylike” and even considered physically inappropriate for women.  Babb scoured the Oklahoma farmlands looking for young women who would accept his offer of a college education; in return, he molded them into a team that exceeded all expectations. Equal parts social history and sports legend come to life, Reeder’s meticulous research and play-by-play game accounts are a fitting tribute to Coach Babb and the trailblazing athletes he inspired. Of special interest for students of women’s studies and a strong contender for a film adaptation. VERDICT With high appeal to sports fans and historians, this hidden gem of a story deserves a place in all public library collections.”

— Janet Davis, Darien P.L., CT

Dust Bowl Girls: A Review

“As a sports story and as a memoir, Dust Bowl Girls recreates the atmosphere of the early 1900s, as politics and traditionalism threatened the game that brought Oklahoma Presbyterian College and its basketball team such pride.  … Reeder writes with hungry excitement, rallying the reader to root for the Cardinals, and doesn’t disappoint, with energetic retellings of the key games of the team’s most important season. Lovers of sports fiction would find it hard to be disappointed by this delightful and enlightening window into a history that very nearly never was.”

— Alex Hurst,

Read the entire review at Memoirs of a Time Here-After: The Writings, Musings, and Photography of a Dream Smith

Kirkus Review

“As she tells the amazing story of Babb and his underdog women’s basketball team, Reeder also reveals the challenges facing serious female athletes during the 1920s and ’30s, including the perceived risk of “destroying their feminine image by invading a man’s world.” Sports fans and general readers alike are sure to find the story both worthwhile and entertaining. A heartwarmingly inspirational tale.”

Read the entire review here.

News9 Oklahoma City

Book Review by Patrick B. McGuigan

‘Dust Bowl Girls’ by Lydia Reeder is a classic of sports literature
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The Oklahoman

“If you are a sports fan and don’t know the story of the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals from Durant, do yourself a favor and pick up the new book ‘Dust Bowl Girls,’ which will be in stores on Tuesday.  It’s ‘Hoosiers’ and “A League of Their Own” rolled into one.”

— Ed Godfrey

Read the entire review here.

Denver Post

“ ‘Dust Bowl Girls’ is the sort of book reviewers love to find.  Denver author Lydia Reeder takes what might have been an academic work about a basketball team in the Great Depression and turns it into a compelling, heartwarming story of a group of college students determined to accomplish the impossible. This is a book you can’t put down.”

— Sandra Dallas

Read the entire review here.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Billed as “ ’The Boys in the Boat’ meets ‘A League of Their Own,’ ” this is another against-the-odds story.”

— Maureen McCarthy

Read the entire review here.

Interview with Garden & Gun Magazine

“ ‘You might want to tell their story someday,’ Lydia Reeder’s grandmother said as she handed her an old folder full of newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs….Dust Bowl Girls, Reeder’s fascinating new book, proves her grandmother was right.”

— CJ Lotz

Read the interview here.

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The Wichita Eagle

“The book reads like a novel sometimes, because the author was able to re-create dialogue, narrate scenes and delve into the personalities of the players.”

— Lisa Mclendon

Read the entire review here.

Westword Magazine

“Since Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory came out in late January, our office copy has been passed from friend to friend almost as quickly as a basketball moves around the court. They’ve all raved about Boulder author Lydia Reeder’s true account of the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals, a gritty girls’ team led by coach Sam Babb, which won 89 consecutive games — including two Women’s National AAU Basketball Championships — at the start of the Great Depression, when many of the players’ farming families were suffering through the Dust Bowl. Babb was Reeder’s great-uncle, and she had access to many firsthand accounts; as a result, she tells this story with a Boys in the Boat-like range that stretches from the changes in women’s athletics to the hardships of the ’30s to the triumph of the human spirit. You can’t have our well-worn copy, but you can buy one when Reeder appears at the Tattered Cover Aspen Grove, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 16. Admission is free; find out more at lydiareeder.com or tatteredcover.com.”

— Westword Staff