grinwhen-girls-became-lions“I really enjoyed the book. As a competitive masters swimmer in the pool and open water, and having grown up in a family where we were taught we could do anything, it never occurred to me the attitude of so many people towards women in sport, especially these male-dominated team sports.

WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS is a must read for all women in sports. Both empowering and illuminating, it has a feel good storyline, and has reminded me that women can indeed achieve great things in sport and life, especially with the support of family and the incredible motivation of a good coach! I’ve recommended the book to heaps of friends so my sister’s copy now has a waiting list. Is there a copy at the library?”—Grindle, 39, (pictured here with her pooch)

“Simply put, more books like this need to exist. Girls in sports, but not in a ‘we’re not like other girls’ way. Just in a ‘we’re playing soccer’ way. The dual timelines were enthralling and I wanted justice for the 1983 team as much as the 2008 girls did. Teachers actually being portrayed as passionate about their jobs and coaches loving teaching equally was a huge unexpected bonus. I cried several times reading this book and I want everyone to read it please.” —Liz, 30, (from Goodreads)

“I absolutely loved reading WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS! I played soccer IMG_2407 (1)my entire childhood throughout high school and this book brought back great memories of being a soccer player. I liked how the chapters went back and forth between two different years and ended up tying in together perfectly in the end. This book allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation as a female athlete CXqoV5BUkAAxcQyand strive never to give up towards something I believe in. Such a great read! —Amanda, 24

“I teared up a lot as a mom, player, fan, coach, sports lover, and girl who way back when wanted to play and had no opportunity. I felt more than I thought I would feel reading it and brought up some of my own memories of feeling invisible and marginalized and condescended to (as a young woman). Even so, I know I am enjoying a book when I find myself thinking about the characters off line. I wondered about each, and was inspired by the more subtle strength of women that seemed to reside over the whole book: women doing what they could with what they had at the time while pushing things forward. The personalities of the State Championship team were awesome. Their friendships were deep and relatable and brought back a lot of good memories of teammates I loved. I think writing this is huge. I am so glad the story is in print, in the light for all to see with faces and names and emotion all over it.”—Eileen, 48

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAR8AAAAJGJhZmM4ODM3LTdkNDEtNDA1Ni1iMjIzLTU2N2VjNWM3ZjRmYQ 6.29.33 AM“What a beautiful & inspiring read about a great game & the women who love to play it. So many stories richly blended into one wonderfully written novel. Title IX may have opened the door, but it took the desire & determination of the women who played & the coaches who believed to make a championship happen. Even 25 years later, the struggle continues.  Val & Jo treat us to the growth of some wonderful characters as the game they love shapes their lives and teaches them about courage and relationships.”—Jim, proud dad of a daughter who played college volleyball & now coaches girl’s lacrosses & volleyball

“I loved, loved, loved the book! Thank you for creating such an inspiring story, using your own experience and passion to enliven the writing and bring depth and power to the story.”—Paul, 62

“I liked that they didn’t get their trophy and parade and everything. I know that sounds odd, but if they had, it would’ve been too perfect. It would’ve been too easy. Instead, they had to fight for it and give it their all. And even though they didn’t get the acknowledgment they deserved, they still won. They weren’t defeated just because no one acknowledged them; they won because the people who mattered knew they won.”—Annie, 16

“GREAT read! The strong female athletes of the Title IX era have inspired every generation! Thank You!!”—Tammy, 35

IMG_0568“What I loved about this book is that it’s not really about soccer. It’s about girls and women being recognized as equal human beings who should have the same opportunities as men and boys. I grew up with seven brothers and they always treated me as if I could and should do anything they could do, so my first reaction while reading WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS was surprise at the closed-mindedness especially of the male coaches. By the end I was cheering the changes that had taken place in girls’ and women’s sports. This book left me with a feeling that the story is not over. Sequel??”—Barb, 40ish

“I have just finished your book, WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS.  I found it to be a great read and story.  You should be very proud. You had me nearly weepy eyed at times during the book. The storytelling moves right along and I really liked the alternation of time periods by chapter.”—Jack, 85

“I have just this minute finished your book and may I say I absolutely loved it!  It really gives you a sense of how far we have come for women and girls in sport—and also how much further we need to go.  Creating a real life story about Title IX and running past and present stories alongside each other really emphasized the journey all the girls involved experienced and highlighted the attitudes of all involved. Your book has made me realise just how important Title IX was and the impact it had one peoples lives, male and female.”—Vicky, 31

K&Jgood“When we heard about WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS, we both wanted to read it right away, so we bought 2 copies—as well as copies for our 27 & 25-year old daughters & 28-year old niece! (Ken wanted his own copy because he didn’t want to be slowed down waiting for “a girl”. Joke!)

“As we read, we experienced the struggles & successes of a girls soccer team in the early years of Title IX—and the ongoing struggle for the recognition that women’s sports still deserve. (Judy finished the book first & celebrated with friends & pizza. Ken finished a few days later & is still waiting for his trophy.) Seriously, we enjoyed reading such an engaging story, one that highlights issues we care about & reminds us of the hard work those who came before us have done so we can enjoy the opportunities we now enjoy.”—Ken, 59, & Judy, 60

“I loved reading this book. I couldn’t put it down. I’m reminded of the sacrifices women and girls made so that my daughters have the opportunity to play sports as boys do. Thank you to all of the unsung heroes!”—Julia, 38

“The strength of Val & Jo’s book is its delicate balancing of real life where women have to live with the pain of injustice for long periods, and characters who maintain their hope of a better world. The long suffering created a sense of umbrage for me . . . and yet I was moved to tears because of believable—and ultimately rewarding—changes. The simplicity of noble behavior shines, and the refrain, ‘You don’t have to be the best to do your best’, got under my skin (in a good way). I find myself applying it to decisions I’m making with my own work. So, it was uplifting for me to read a novel with relate-able characters making good decisions after wrestling through hard circumstances. Two thumbs up!”—Christopher, 62

“I just read WHEN GIRLS BECAME LIONS on my Kindle. Loved it! I thought the format was creative and the characters intriguing. As a retired teacher, it is always a pleasure to read about inspiring teachers, and how the implementation of Title IX required the most inspirational teachers and coaches for it to succeed. Great read and I highly recommend it!”—Linda, sixty-ish


“I just received my book in the mail! I am so over-the-moon excited! Great prologue. Jumped for joy with a tear or two when I read the first line, my favorite EVER.”—Suzanne, 51

“‘Their struggle then made our day today possible.’ Enough said.” —Rini, 39