Author Dandi Daley Mackall has written an excellent children’s book based on an event that happened directly to her when she was younger. A Girl Named Dan chronicles Mackall’s determination to be treated as an equal when it came to playing sports, before the induction of Title IX Education Amendment which came into effect in 1972.
Ten-year-old baseball enthusiast Dandi (or Dan as she is called by family and friends) knows her sport like the back of her hand. She religiously follows every Kansas City game and loves to play the game with her classmates, when the boys actually let her play that is. When the owner of her favorite team announces an essay contest designed to find new batboys for the home games, Dandi wants to win more than anything. A batboy position would be a dream come true! Unfortunately, her friend Ray points out that the contest is only open to boys…but when did being a girl stop Dandi from doing anything?
A great story of motivation and determination, A Girl Named Dan will be enjoyable for both boys and girls. The illustrations, done by Renee Graef, are a nice complement to the text and time period. Also great as a read aloud, though be careful, I stumbled over some of the baseball speak…get your announcer’s voices ready!