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“In State, Melissa Isaacson perfectly captures the birth of Title IX and a time when high school girls were starting to gain equality in sports and in the classroom, showing us how opportunities on the court can light a path for girls to become their authentic selves in all aspects of their lives.”
- Billie Jean King,  tennis champion and activist

STATE

A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation
This story is about one group of girls sitting innocently at a monumental place in our nation's history. ... it is about the sheer joy of getting our first uniforms, packing the same school gym where we were once not allowed to practice, and gaining access to life lessons previously only available to boys.

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This story is about one group of girls sitting innocently at a monumental place in our nation’s history ... It is about the sheer joy of getting our first uniforms, packing the same school gym where we were once not allowed to practice, and gaining access to life lessons previously only available to boys.

praise for "STATE"

  • Melissa covered the Bulls for the Chicago Tribune when I played in the NBA and we had many discussions about our love of basketball. The topic of her high school state title-winning team came up now and then, and I knew she was proud of it. But not until now, after reading her fantastic book, did I realize HOW much basketball meant to her. This is a beautiful story of basketball and life.”

  • “You’ve probably never heard of the 1975 Niles West High School girls’ basketball team. But theirs is a terrific story, and as fate would have it, their point guard, Missy Isaacson, went on to become a superb writer.

    If you love sports, you’ll love her fascinating, moving, funny, and richly reported account of how her team finally won state.”

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I'm back!

Why, you ask, has it been nearly eight years since I last wrote a blog on my website? 

Same reason it’s nearly impossible to find Kemp’s Java Chunk at my Mariano’s. There is no earthly explanation. At least not a good one. Because it was pure joy. Not the Java Chunk -- though honestly it really is special, trust me, you should try it if you can find it, which you probably can’t -- but my blog, which I began in the wee hours of the morning after getting laid off by the Chicago Tribune in the spring of 2009, and sustained me in every way writing always has. 

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