“Thrilling, cinematic . . . I loved every minute I spent with the bold, daring women of the Cardinals basketball team . . . The stuff of American legend” (Karen Abbott, New York Times–bestselling author).
The Boys in the Boat meets A League of Their Own in this true story of a Depression-era championship women’s team.
During the drought and financial crisis of the 1930s, Oklahoma basketball coach Sam Babb traveled from farm to farm recruiting talented, hardworking young women and offering them a chance at a better life: a free college education in exchange for playing on his basketball team, the Cardinals. And as Babb coached the Cardinals, something extraordinary happened. These remarkable athletes found a passion for the game and a heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach—and they began to win.
Combining exhilarating sports writing and exceptional storytelling, Dust Bowl Girls takes readers on the Cardinals’ intense, improbable journey all the way to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson. Lydia Reeder captures a moment in history when female athletes faced intense scrutiny from influential figures in politics, education, and medicine who denounced women’s sports as unhealthy and unladylike. At a time when a struggling nation was hungry for inspiration, this unlikely group of trailblazers achieved much more than a championship season.
“A compelling, heartwarming story of a group of college students determined to accomplish the impossible. This is a book you can’t put down.” —The Denver Post
“[A] great sports story about an underdog whose triumphs inspired a community that badly needed a lift in the midst of hard economic times. I can’t wait for the movie.” —The Oklahoman