Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Skater Girl by Patty Segovia and Rebecca Heller

Title: Skater Girl: A Girl’s Guide to Skateboarding
Author: Patty Segovia and Rebecca Heller
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Date: December 2006
ISBN-13: 978-1569755426

Summary: Skater Girl is a complete guide for introducing girls to the world of skateboarding.  After presenting a top ten list of why skateboarding is a great sport, it begins with the basics – making sure you understand the equipment, from the deck of the board to making informed decisions about what kinds of wheels to get, and advising you to invest in good quality safety gear.  Different kinds of terrain, from the street to the skate park, are compared, and tips are given on finding safe places to skate.  Much of the book is dedicated to providing step-by-step instructions for different skate moves, from the most basic to advanced tricks.  They even give a detailed explanation on how to fall correctly!  The book concludes by reiterating some of the earlier advice (wear a helmet!) and with a history of women’s skateboarding from the 1950s to the present.  A helpful glossary is located at the back so you can learn the lingo, and lots of resources and information is scattered throughout the book.

Critical Evaluation: This book is definitely a comprehensive resource for any girl who is interested in learning how to skateboard.  They offer experienced advice on what kinds of products to look for and which brands are reputable, and the list of resources they offer for each detail, from where to find a deck to what skate camp to sign up for, is extensive.  When a new trick is described, they go into a lot of detail explaining exactly how you should execute the move, and the description is accompanied by a series of helpful photographs.  I was really impressed by the level of detail in the book – the authors really thought of every aspect of promoting a safe skating lifestyle, including taking the time to stretch before you ride, eat healthily and avoid processed foods, and even avoiding smoking.  As the owner of a custom longboard that I purchased on a whim a few years ago and have somehow never managed to learn to ride, this book inspired me to pull out my board and get more comfortable on it!

Reader’s Annotation: Girls can skateboard too, and this guide will help you pick out your board and safety equipment, and even teach you some tricks to try out.

Author Information: Patty Segovia is the founder of the All Girl Skate Jam, which began in 1997 and takes a 50-city tour every year.  In addition to skating, she is a photographer, producer, agent, and author – she frequently shoots for Sports Illustrated for Women and The New York Times.  Her other books include On the Edge: Snowboarding, On the Edge: Skateboarding, and Skate Girls.

Rebecca Heller is primarily a surfer and helps run the website Surf Like a Girl.  She is also the author of Surf Like a Girl: The Surfer Girl’s Ultimate Guide to Paddling Out, Catching a Wave and Surfing with Aloha.  She lives in Los Angeles.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Sports

Curriculum Ties: Physical Education

Booktalking Ideas:
1) Why is it so important to wear the right safety gear?
2) Different types of boards and skating activities are described in the book – do you think you’d be more interested in cruising around or learning how to do cool tricks?
3) Is it important to promote girls in a sport like skateboarding?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: None.

Challenge Defense Ideas: This book has no apparent challenge issues, but if a challenge comes up:

• Become familiar with the book and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the book from teens who have read it.

Selection: I was looking for non-fiction titles that would be relevant for a teen library collection and I chose this one because it encourages girls to try an activity that is stereotypically male.


All Girl Skate Jam website

All Girl Skate Jam on MySpace

Patty Segovia talking about the importance of skateboarding for girls and women:


May 9, 2010 - Posted by | Books | ,

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