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

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  301 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Can girls play softball? Can girls be school crossing guards? Can girls play basketball or ice hockey or soccer? Can girls become lawyers or doctors or engineers?
Of course they can...

today. But just a few decades ago, opportunities for girls were far more limited, not because they weren't capable of playing or didn't want to become doctors or lawyers, but because they
...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published June 21st 2005)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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Chelsea Couillard-Smith
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that every girl of my generation should have to read. Despite my feminist mother, I have always taken for granted the fact that I can do anything I want as a woman, and no one can legally make me inferior. This book opened my eyes to the reality of life for young women only 30 years ago, and the hard work that went into creating a US in which girls could take their rights for granted. It's incredibly moving to read about the small victories and compromises and threats ...more
Christine
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you look at my shelf you will see I seldom give a book 5 stars. Just Let Me Play appealed to me because I was a teenager when Title IX was written. I was the only girl who worked out with the cross-country team and track team my freshman year in high school in 1971. I can't say that I was on the team-they just let me work out with them. If I had been allowed to compete, I probably would have stuck with it, as it was, I was tolerated by some, and made others extremely uncomfortable.

This book
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Jessica
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Nonfiction / Sports

Let Me Play is about the circumstances and events of the creation of Title IX, the legislation that brought equality of the sexes into schools and, most prominently, into sports.

Unfortunately, Let Me Play suffers from “textbook” syndrome: the story is choppy and the formatting is distracting.

The biggest problem is that there’s no engaging story. Blumenthal jumps from character to character and rarely does a good job endearing us to those characters. I understand that this is
...more
Lanell Rabner
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
My first reaction to the book was one of skepticism because the subject matter did not appeal to me, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the read. I liked the format and layout as much as the content. The biographical inserts, cartoons, scorecards, and priceless photographs broke up and enhanced what could have been a very boring discussion of a topic I previously had little interest in. A benefit of the format is providing different kinds of information to different readers. Anyone ...more
Heidi
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trevor Gawronski
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let Me Play- Book Review

This book is about the amendment known as Title IX. The story begins with the story of a women named Donna Varona, the Olympic swimmer. As she watched her male coworkers receive swimming scholarships to college, she began gathering her friends to make a difference. They thought of ways to get there rights and allow women to be able to do the things that men were allowed to do.
The author is really good at describing this story. The book then goes into the boycott section
...more
Richie Partington
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
11 June 2005 LET ME PLAY: THE STORY OF TITLE IX, THE LAW THAT CHANGED THE FUTURE OF GIRLS IN AMERICA by Karen Blumenthal, Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, June 2005, ISBN: 0-689-85957-0

"Female admissions to colleges and graduate programs picked up speed, driven by female ambition, the law, and a growing acceptance that it was simply wrong to reject someone just for being a girl. Between 1971 and 1976 the number of women attending college jumped 40 percent. By the fall of 1976 one in every four law st
...more
Shazzer
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

I am not a sporty adult, and I never played school sports (unless marching band counts, which it totally should), but growing up, I tried to take advantage of sporting opportunities that were available to me. I played elementary age soccer, the only girl on an all-boy team. When I got older, I was a short-stop for my town’s softball league. As I got older, and school (and band) took precedence, sports were phased out of my life, though I remain a fan. Every two year
...more
Melissa Yael Winston
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I got this book, I didn't realize it was intended for young adult readers. Typically, reading non-fiction geared toward teenagers is hard on the senses because of the, well, teen-speak that the authors at least think teenagers use. This book had a touch of that, but it was not excessive, and it had a lot of information on Title IX. Though Title IX was related to gender equality in all areas of education, it's best known for its requirements regarding sports programs at educational instituti ...more
Joel Richardson
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
Let Me Play by Karen Blumenthal Narrative Non-fiction

Let Me Play is a non-fiction narrative about the history of Title XI and the struggles women have and are still going through to receive equal rights both on and off the field/court. When I first picked up this book at the bookstore I looked at the cover and flipped through the pages, looking at some of the pictures and short anecdotes. Being a sports fan, I was excited to learn about the history of Title XI and read about my favorite women at
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Lisa
Themes: feminism, gender equality, following one’s dreams

Unlike the other nonfiction book I read for this class (Jennifer Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World), this book was a lot harder to wade through and get to the end. It follows the development of the legislation that eventually became Title IX through several decades of the twentieth century, ending near the present day. I felt like the topic of the book could have been really interesting, but Blumenthal didn’t portray it in a
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Amanda
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit
et Me Play shocked me. After coming from such a positive experience with reading non-fiction (see "Book Profile (1)"), I hoped that this story of Title IX would similarly engage my mind. Too many words, too much dry litigation, and some all-too-obvious feministic didacticism characterized Let Me Play. I will admit to the importance of the influential Title IX law, but I will also contend that this book is far too dry for a Young Adult audience. Though Blumenthal attempts to draw the reader throu ...more
Sydney White
Oct 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-lit
When I was a 4 year old my mom signed me up for a city league soccer team. I don't remember any of the practices or even what our team's name was. What I do remember was going with my dad to the sports equipment store and picking out a pink soccer ball. Kicking that little beauty around was my joy. But kicking it around with other girls? No way. My mom tells me stories of me just sitting on that soccer ball on the sidelines not interested in playing at all. What I would soon find out was that s ...more
Mary Ann
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Imagine the local soccer field, filled with kids playing on a Saturday morning, but not one of the children playing is a girl. Imagine the many high school teams: swimming, basketball, baseball, tennis, track, but not one of the teams has female players. Finally, picture a large university graduate school commencement ceremony, where only a few of the graduates are women. While this is nearly impossible to imagine now, that was the reality only 40 years ago, before the enactment of Title IX. Ka ...more
Megan
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 6th graders +
Shelves: need-to-buy
I LOVED this book!! All women should own a copy!!

This book tells the story of how women gained their right to vote and be treated as equals in the United States of America. Although it spends some time discussing the movements made in the early 1900’s, the main focus of the book is the developments that took place in the 1960’s and beyond with a focus on Title IX. This book does a wonderful job explaining what Title IX is, how it effects women and men, and showing what great lengths both women
...more
Kay
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Suffice it to say, this book is not what I expected. I've been curious about the evolution of Title IX, an amendment that has sufficiently changed women's lives in America far more than most of them realize.

Though most of us think of Title IX as a means of gender parity in sports, it's since become clear that there are many unexpected benefits for women in this law. Earlier this year, for instance, the Associated Press did a long report on how Title IX is actually forcing changes in how college
...more
Becky Tucker
Sep 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 420-books
This is the story of the development of and struggle for Title IX. It goes from the very beginning of the women's rights movement through to modern times, when women are winning gold medals and accomplishing much in the world on the same level as men. It tells stories along the way of the smaller things that had to be done to get the law to where it is today and how attitudes had to change over the years towards women. It's a very detailed and interesting book, with plenty of stories about indiv ...more
Megan
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Let Me Play is written by a woman and is written with a feminine bias as it relates the tale of the women’s suffrage movement, especially in regards to athletics. With the obvious bias towards women and the manipulation of the historical facts, the book targets a female audience. With the simple vocabulary and emphasis on fighting against authority, the audience is further limited to female teenagers, and teenage female athletes become the prime audience with all the many pages devoted to athlet ...more
Jessica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liza
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Every girl and every boy who cares about a girl should read this book. I think it is really easy for kids today to not realize how short a time it has been since girls did not have equal opportunities as boys. It's not kids' faults--it's actually wonderful that things have progressed so much that they are blissfully unaware. However, I would wager than many of their mothers were born when some of this legislation was not in place, which means their mothers were born into a world where girls and ...more
Shannon Cash
Let Me Play, is a story filled with the history of title IX. Blumenthal does an amazing job going into the detail of not only women who defied the odds to become professional athletes but went into the legal matters of the act as well. She uses quotes as well at the start of every chapter. Blumenthal inserts stories from female athletes, Females in government, and feminists, all to make her book have a stronger impact on its readers. The chapters of her book are organized into different sports t ...more
Kiera Beddes
Genre: non-ficion, bureaucratic nonsense
Summary: This is the story of how Title IX got passed through the legistlature and it's impact. Sound interesting? Well, this book killed the subject.
Response: This was a typical non-fiction experience. It was dense at times and hard to get through, not necessarily because of the subject matter but because of the layout. I definitely learned a lot of stuff that I didn't know before, but I dreaded reading it because it was so dry and choppy. Every two secon
...more
Clarissa
Sep 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: english-420
Let Me Play:The Story of Title IX: The Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America - - - Non-Fiction/Feminism/History/Civil Rights

Blumenthal weaves together stories of girls and women all over the country during the 1970s who endured discrimination and fought for equality. Today our world is completely different because of what the pioneers of women's rights did for this nation. Girls don't just have equal rights when it comes to school sports, but also employment opportunities, scholarships
...more
Danielle
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: eng-420-required
Genre: Non-Fiction

Let Me Play is a young adult non-fiction narrative that traces the development of the legislation that paved the way for women’s equal rights in school, voting, jobs, sports, etc. It starts at the beginning of the women’s rights movement and ends in modern times, when women are winning Olympic gold medals and holding high government positions. Blumenthal has clearly done her homework, as the book is extremely detailed and filled with random facts, but I found the format very co
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Jenna
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Blumenthal, I thought, did an excellent job. Despite my prejudices, I really enjoyed the book. Like I anticipated, I learned a lot from what I read. However, unlike my anticipations, the bad feelings and emotion I was expecting did not come across. She stated the facts, but still kept it interesting. I feel like this book had more a personal touch than Shipwreck at the Bottom of the Sea and so it was much easier for me to “get into.” I loved the stories she told of the individual girls, like Don ...more
Devin Gnat
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read the book "Let Me Play" by Karen Blumenthal. This book really grabbed my attention and was very interesting to me because it talked about women and their struggles in various different areas, but for the most part sports. The book has various different stories about women struggling to be equal in the sports world, but my favorite story was of Donna de Verona. She was an Olympic swimmer who watched other male swimmers earn swimming scholarships to various colleges, but was left in the dust ...more
Samantha
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Young Adult/Non-Fiction/Girls and Sports/United States History

Admittedly, I did not know what Title IX was before reading this book. I also did not know about the key players, the intricacies, and difficulties faced in getting fair play for girls and boys. So, from an informational perspective Let Me Play taught me a lot. However, to put it bluntly, it was boring and I struggled to finish it. There are, though, two possible reasons for my harsh comments above. First, the format of the book was t
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Saundra
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Let Me Play by Karen Blumenthal Nonfiction/Title IX/ Women/Sports
Rating; 3/5 stars
This book was a very interesting look at the history behind Title IX. It details the many people who were involved with getting the law passed and shaped to what it is today. It also featured the stories of several famous women whose lives were affected by Title IX, as it gave them the opportunity for better education and sports. while the book mainly focuses on sports, it does talk quite a bit about education as
...more
Jessica Cramer
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: females (particularly young, American ones), feminists, athletes, chauvinists, lawmakers


An America without Title IX is unimaginable to me. It's hard to believe that a mere 43 years ago, girls had so few opportunities. The 19th Amendment is what finally recognized women as actual citizens; Title IX forced schools to begin to treat girls as actual students & student-athletes.

I learned so much from this book and forgot that it was from the kids' section of the library until I looked at the spine. It's fitting that I finished it the day before the USWNT's Victory Tour begins. I will be
...more
Debbie Henderson
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Genre: nonfiction, sports, law
Issues: gender discrimination, women and sports, women in law

In this nonfiction account of Title IX, Karen Blumenthal tells the rocky story of the American legislation that paved the way for women to have equal rights in schools, sports, and many other programs. Told in a magazine-esque style, the wide pages include a variety of pictures and graphics to keep you turning pages. It is obvious that Blumenthal really did her homework; the book is filled with profiles of
...more
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Karen Blumenthal is a critically acclaimed author of narrative nonfiction for young people, who is fascinated by controversial subjects and social change. Her books include Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different; Tommy: The Gun that Changed America; Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History, and Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX. Her books have won a Sibert Honor and a Jane Addams Childre ...more

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