Mackey, Weezie Kerr (Anne Louise Kerr)

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Mackey, Weezie Kerr (Anne Louise Kerr)

Personal

Born in London, England; daughter of Sue Felt Kerr (an author and artist); married; children: two sons. Education: Trinity College (Hartford, CT), B.A. (English); American University, M.F.A. (creative writing).

Addresses

Home—Wilimette, IL.

Career

Children's author and coach. Greenhill School, Dallas, TX, physical education teacher and coach.

Awards, Honors

Best Young-Adult Book Award nomination, Texas Institute of Letters, 2007, for Throwing like a Girl.

Writings

Throwing like a Girl, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

While growing up in the Midwest, Weezie Kerr Mackey's passion was sports: field hockey, basketball, softball, and badminton. Her field-hockey team's state-championship win during her senior year fueled her athleticism, and she continued to participate on college teams even while majoring in English. Mackey's first novel for young adults, Throwing like a Girl, reflects her love of organized sports and is based on her experiences as a gym teacher and coach at a Texas high school.

In Throwing like a Girl readers meet high-school sophomore Ella Kessler, who moves from Chicago to Texas and a new private school in the middle of the school year. Dealing with this upheaval is difficult for most teens, and Ella is no different. When her gym teacher suggests that she join the school softball team, the fifteen year old does so, despite the fact that she has never played competitive sports. While Ella musters up enough natural skill to catch and bat the ball, throwing is a problem, as is the defiant and competitive stance of a talented teammate. Nonetheless, support from new friends and an understanding mom, as well as the girl's can-do attitude, help Ella turn adversity to her advantage and learn the value of belonging to a team.

Throwing like a Girl earned the praise of several critics. Citing Ella's "forthright, often funny" narrative, a Publishers Weekly contributor deemed Mackey's fiction debut an "engaging novel" with "a satisfying finale." A Kirkus Reviews writer, while dubbing the story "undemanding if pleasant," recommended the novel to "teen girls, sports-minded or not." Appraising the book for School Library Journal, Kim Dare wrote that, with its likable protagonist and "brisk pace," Throwing like a Girl is "feel-good chick lit that will appeal to reluctant readers and sports fans."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2007, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Throwing like a Girl, p. 42.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Throwing like a Girl.

Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2007, review of Throwing like a Girl, p. 55.

School Library Journal, May, 2007, Kim Dare, review of Throwing like a Girl, p. 138.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 2007, Sherrie Williams, review of Throwing like a Girl, p. 147.

ONLINE

Weezie Kerr Mackey Home Page,http://www.weeziekerrmackey.com (March 28, 2008).