Cover image for Babe conquers the world : the legendary life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Babe conquers the world : the legendary life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Wallace, Rich.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, PA : Calkins Creek Books, 2014.

Physical Description:
272 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Traces the world record-setting athlete's early childhood ambitions through her courageous final battle with cancer, covering such topics as her achievements at the 1932 Olympics and her later dominance in professional golf.
Reading Level:
930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.5 5.0 164728.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV697.Z26 W3 2014B Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Babe Didrikson Zaharias had one driving goal: to become the greatest athlete who ever lived. And she made good on that promise with a meteoric rise to famed basketball player, Olympic medalist, and top female golfer. But there was more to Babe than just sports. Noted novelists and sportswriters Rich and Sandra Wallace expose the many controversies surrounding this famous female athlete--her upbringing, personality, marriage, and even her early death. This action-packed story of a womanESPN ranks as #10 of the top North American athletes of the twentieth century also includes personal and professional photographs, quotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Author Notes

Rich Wallace was born on January 29, 1957 in Hackensack, New Jersey. He began writing as a first grader but academics were not his strong suit and he did not read much beyond what was required for his classes. As a teen-ager he was mostly interested on sports, especially track and cross country. In high school He started writing often and working on his school newspaper. He continued his writing as he attended Montclair State College. He took creative writing classes, including one that required him to write a novel, one chapter a week. He also interned at the Passaic Herald-News where he was later offered a paid reporting job. After graduating Montclair State in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree, Rich Wallace went to work for several N.J. newspapers as a sports reporter and news editor and continually reworking that first novel he started in creative writing class. In 1988 he started working for Highlights for Children as a copy editor. He has since become senior editor at the magazine and publishing well written stories has become his passion. Then in 1996 after several rewrites his first novel Wrestling Sturbridge was published. He continued writing with novels such as Shots on Goal, Riding Time and Playing Without the Ball - all with sports related themes. He also penned a series called Winning Season with titles such as The Roar of the Crowd, Technical Foul, Fast Company and Double Fake. Wallace has said he has one goal for his writing - to offer an honest representation of how adolescent boys struggle to find their identity.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Babe Didrikson Zaharias is perhaps the most accomplished athlete that young people have never heard of. She was an Olympic track star in the 1932 games, a noted professional basketball player, and a formative member of the LPGA. The daughter of Norwegian immigrants, Zaharias exhibited a natural athleticism that, when coupled with an unstoppable drive to be the best, captured the attention of the media, agents, and the public at large in the first half of the twentieth century. Though not a purposeful feminist, she redefined how female athletes were supposed to look and act. Her life story as drawn from contemporary news articles and interviews is fascinating and inspirational, and it is punctuated with photographs like Zaharias shooting targets with Amelia Earhart and giving Sam Snead tips on his golf swing. This is part sports journalism, part narrative nonfiction, and part proof that professional athletes can be exemplary role models for young people.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-The Wallaces pair up to tackle a great historical sports figure in this engrossing biography. Mildred Ella "Babe" Didriksen Zaharias may not be as well-known as Babe Ruth, but she broke countless records, leaped over age-old boundaries, and paved the way for professional women athletes across several arenas. A champion basketball player, an Olympic track-and-field star, and career golfer, Babe didn't let obstacles stand in the way of her success. The authors detail her trajectory from the daughter of a Norwegian immigrant born in a working-class Texas neighborhood to record wins at the 1932 Olympics (still not broken to this day) to her last days as she fought cancer. Chapters are organized around the various hurdles she faced ("Babe vs. The Boys," "Babe vs. Tradition"). Text is broken up by illuminating quotations and dynamic period photos. Ample historical background is interlaced within the narrative, giving context that will help readers understand Didriksen Zaharias's lasting impact. Especially engaging are the anecdotes that illustrate the subject's faults as well as her strengths: Babe's showmanship and drive often alienated her teammates, but her strength and leadership also enabled her to provide for her ailing parents and impoverished siblings. Extensive back matter makes this title perfect for reports, and this exemplar text should be a staple for all collections looking to diversify their biography, sports, and women's history offerings.-Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Opening Pitch (Authors' Note)p. 8
Round 1 Babe vs. The Boysp. 14
Round 2 Babe vs. The Girlsp. 36
Round 3 Babe vs. The Bestp. 58
Round 4 Babe vs. Her Teamp. 94
Round 5 Babe vs. The Worldp. 110
Round 6 Babe vs. The Unknownp. 136
Round 7 Babe vs. The Rulesp. 160
Round 8 Babe vs. The Roadp. 178
Round 9 Babe vs. Traditionp. 200
The Final Round: Babe vs. Cancerp. 226
Post-Match (Authors' Note)p. 246
Timelinep. 252
Frequently Asked Questionsp. 254
Source Notesp. 257
Bibliographyp. 266
Indexp. 269
Picture Creditsp. 272
Text Creditsp. 272