- Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber
- Sally Ride: Life on a Mission
- Roller Derby Rivals
- Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map
- Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
- Bylines: A Photobiography of Nellie Bly
- Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics
- Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics
- Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley
- Girls Got Game: Sports Stories & Poems
- Play Like a Girl: A Celebration of Women In Sports
- Barbie: Shooting Hoops
- Winning Ways: A Photohistory of American Women in Sports
- A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Miss Mary Reporting
The True Story of
Sportswriter Mary Garber
Although a women’s place was decidedly NOT in the press box, Mary Garber made herself comfortable and stayed for nearly 60 years.
Illustrated by C. F. Payne • Published by Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, 2016 • 40 pages • Ages 5-8
A Junior Library Guild Selection
When I was growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, the newspaper was my window on the world. I began every morning at the kitchen table with my parents and brother, reading whichever section of the New York Times I could get my hands on, preferably Sports. After school, I pored over our local paper, the Passaic-Clifton Herald-News. Starting when I was 16, I actually worked for that paper, spending three summers writing feature stories, obituaries, and answers to readers’ questions in the consumer help column.
Needless to say, Mary Garber was a woman after my own heart. Mary also came to her love of newspapers at an early age, and she lived her dream of being a sports reporter for close to six decades. Along the way she recorded the achievements and nurtured the dreams of thousands of young athletes in her home state of North Carolina and beyond. She also became a role model for budding reporters, especially women trying to make it in the often-unwelcoming field of sports journalism.
This is my second book about a journalist, but the subjects, Mary Garber and Nellie Bly, could not be more different. Bly deliberately used her writing as a tool to try and bring about social change. She was very conscious of her role as a groundbreaking female reporter and injected herself into her stories. Her articles were long (she was paid by the column inch) and detailed and she didn’t hesitate to offer opinions when she felt they were warranted. Mary Garber also made an impact, but in a quieter way. She let the accomplishments of her subjects speak for themselves and was satisfied to stay in the background. Besides reporting on sports contests, she aimed to give voice to athletes who didn’t usually get attention, including those at African-American schools not previously covered by her paper. If she had opinions, she confined them to her “Skirting Sports” column, and even then she had a populist bent. Writing on September 4, 1945, she declared (using the editorial “we”), “We’re constitutionally opposed to picking all-star teams…because we feel that it’s totally unfair to really judge a ball player unless you see him play in every game. That’s impossible even for a sports writer.”
I had a great time learning about Mary Garber and telling her story. And I think C.F. Payne did a terrific job bringing her to life with his illustrations. I hope you enjoy getting to know Mary as much as I did.
What the Critics Said
“A heartfelt. Informative, and thoroughly engaging picture book biography about groundbreaking sports reporter Mary Garber (1916-2008)….An excellent and welcome addition to any elementary biography collection.” —Starred Review, School Library Journal, February 2016
“It’s an entertaining and accessible portrait of a generous-minded writer and a reminder of the value of telling people’s stories, whether pro player or soapbox racer.” —Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly, February 2016
“The narrative is swiftly paced, smoothly written, and filled with interesting details and quotes. Payne’s soft-focus, mixed-media illustrations feature beautifully delineated period settings and a masterful use of composition for dramatic effect….A lively, memorable biography for younger readers.” —Starred Review, Booklist, November 1, 2015
What Other Sports Reporters Said
"Mary Garber is an inspiration and role model to thousands, including me. This is the wonderful story of her remarkable and trailblazing life."— Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist and commentator on ABC News, PBS, and CNN
"This is a wonderful book with charming illustrations. As a fellow journalist who also once wore credentials stating 'No Women or Children in the Press Box,' I don’t think Mary Garber can be championed enough!" —Lesley Visser, first female NFL analyst on TV, among other distinctions