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Children's Fiction Basketball

Dressed to Play

by (author) Jennifer Manuel

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2019
Basketball, Girls & Women
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 3
  • Reading age: 7 to 8


Fourteen-year-old Jordan lives for basketball — she is a star player on her school team, and aspires to play women's college/pro basketball like her basketball heroes. But the people around her have been changing. Wyatt, the star of the boys' basketball team, and his teammates call her Jordan the Jock, hinting that she is less of a girl for being strong and athletic. The players on her team want their new uniforms to be short, tight and sexy, rather than the functional athletic wear Jordan wants. Her best friend is suddenly more concerned with how she looks — and attracting Wyatt — than basketball. Even Jordan's parents point out that boys don't like girls who are better at sports than they are.

Jordan thinks she might have found an ally in a boy named Amin, who not only plays basketball, but clearly admires his older sister, who plays at the college level. But when Amin doesn't stand up for her against Wyatt and the teasing, she feels more alone than ever and wonders if she should just give up the game. But then she meets Amin's sister, who shows her that there is no shame in being a girl and a strong athlete.

About the author

Jennifer Manuel has achieved acclaim for her short fiction, including the Storyteller's Award at the Surrey International Writer's Conference in 2013. She has also published short fiction in PRISM International, The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine and Little Fiction. Author Diana Gabaldon describes Manuel's writing as “astonishing in its intimacy, delicate complexity and sense of compassion.” A long-time activist in Aboriginal issues, Manuel taught elementary and high school in the lands of the Tahltan and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. She lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Jennifer Manuel's profile page


  • Commended, Starred Selection - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2020

Editorial Reviews

"In a straightforward narrative and simple style, Manuel hits on a key issue for girls in their maturation." G, Good

Resource Links

"The characters are realistic and deal convincingly with real-life problems young readers might face."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"A relatively short book with vocabulary within reach of most middle years reading levels."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Jennifer Manuel