An Equal Shot is a nonfiction picture book introduction to the history and importance of Title IX as civil rights legislature,
 featuring illustrations by Dow Phumiruk.

You’ve likely heard of the law Title IX. It protects the equal rights of students, athletes, and professionals in America regardless of gender. But do you know about the women who fought to enact this new law?

Here is the rousing account of how Title IX was shaped at the hands of brave politicians who took risks to secure women’s dreams and their futures under the Constitution. From the creative team that brought you Counting on Katherine and told in simple, commanding prose, An Equal Shot celebrates the power of words to defend and unite vulnerable people.

Christy Ottaviano Books
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Holt Books for Young Readers

40 Pages, Ages 4-8     ISBN: 9781250241955   $19.95
On Sale: 02/23/2021 
Preorder HERE

Read our awesome interview with Betsy Bird/Fuse 8/SLJ!


"It took only 37 words to change the United States forever. When certain words were omitted from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and the Emancipation Proclamation, 37 had to be written in 1972 to grant girls and women the same opportunities as boys and men. Before that, girls and women could be denied jobs, the chance to play sports, and educational opportunities—things that boys and men took for granted. Writing simply, Becker ably explains to readers that Title IX is about more than just giving girls and women the ability to play sports, which is often the aspect of the law most discussed; Title IX continues to allow girls and women access to every aspect of education, which provides them with the same training as boys and men to become experts in all fields. This account of Title IX, though, shines in the backmatter. Here, Becker names the women credited with crafting the law’s language and discusses how the law looked in the past and looks today, taking care to explain that inequity persists. There are some hiccups: Becker uses “America” when she means the United States, and Phumiruk’s casually diverse illustrations suggest that White and Black women always walked together in the fight for women’s rights. But her endpapers are delightful, and all illustrations are clean and clear. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 25% of actual size.)

Both an easy-to-read introduction and a powerful reminder that we must always fight for equality. (resources, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-10)"


"Becker’s concise prose is both informative and accessible (“Title IX’s thirty-seven words taught us a simple truth: Words have power”). Phumiruk’s digital art spotlights graceful, slim-limbed figures with differing skin tones engaging in a range of professions and physical activities." 
                                                                                   - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"There are a few previously published books about Title IX for children, but they focused on the impact of the law on expanding girls’ participation in sports. In this picture book, Becker explains that Title IX applies to all aspects of education. The law ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to pursue an education, training, and a job in the field of their choice. The text notes that the 37 words that encapsulate the law were not included in earlier pivotal documents, such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The colorful, full-page illustrations depict the fight for the ratification of the law and young people enjoying the opportunities that it provides on the athletic field, in the classroom, and beyond. The illustrations present girls from a variety of races and ethnicities. The straightforward text provides a look at the fundamental nature of the law. The back matter features additional information, including portraits of the heroes in Congress who fought for the passage of Title IX, details regarding the progress made and the work to be done for full equality, and resources for further exploration. Incorporating more of the information in the back matter into the main text would have enhanced the book, especially for older readers. VERDICT A recommended addition that expands awareness of the full impact of Title IX."

                                                                               -SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"It takes three words to say, “It isn’t fair,” but in the law known as Title IX, it took the 37 words to change America. While earlier historical documents had ensured certain rights, until Title IX was passed in 1972, women who married or became pregnant could be fired from certain jobs. Women were seldom considered for careers in fields such as medicine, science, and higher education. And most schools offered girls few opportunities in sports. To its credit, this picture book underscores that the legislation’s effect has been greater equality of opportunities in schools, universities, and workplaces as well as in athletics. From the writer and illustrator of Counting on Katherine (2018), this attractive picture book portrays some of the injustices faced by girls and women 50 years ago and shows changes brought about by Title IX. Appended notes explain the law more fully. The simply worded, well-crafted main text makes its points effectively, while the art, combining digital and traditional elements, illustrates the words with quiet dignity. An intriguing, early introduction to women’s rights."

                                                                                                       - BOOKLIST

"An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America written by Helaine Becker with artwork by Dow Phumiruk, is one you will want to have in your personal and professional collections. There is extensive backmatter with illustrations. Two pages are dedicated to Title IX and You supplying formation about Patsy Mink, Bernice Sandler, Edith Green, and Shirley Chisholm. The next two pages have extended facts about What the Law Did, Title IX Today, Progress, More Work to Do, and Further Exploration."

                                                                                    - LIBRARIAN'S QUEST