Sports TV pioneer Sandra Neil Wallace’s first biography Babe Conquers the World (co-authored with Rich Wallace) captures the personality of sports legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias and the turbulent times she challenged. “This exemplar text should be a staple for all collections.”(School Library Journal)



Inspired by the true story of a racially divided town and a team who must find a way to win, Muckers delves into the rocky terrain of war, Communism, and segregation in 1950 Arizona. “Fans of Friday Night Lights and other football stories will appreciate this inspiring tale.” (School Library Journal, Starred review).



“Sometimes a first heartbreak doesn’t involve humans.” Little Joe is about a farm boy who faces parting with the calf he loves at the fair auction. A state awards finalist and a U.S. Dept. of Ag and American Farm Bureau pick, Little Joe has been translated into 3 languages. Now in paperback and ebook editions.

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About Sandra

Sandra Neil Wallace grew up in several small towns in Ontario, Canada, before moving to Toronto, where she anchored the news before becoming a sports announcer with ESPN.

She became the first woman to host an NHL show on network TV and part of the first ESPN crew to cover the WNBA with Robin Roberts and Geno Auriemma.

Sandra’s debut novel for kids, Little Joe, earned her the distinction “a talented newcomer to the children’s literature scene” by the Horn Book. Named to several state awards lists, Little Joe has been translated into Japanese and Simplified Chinese and is a National Agriculture and 4-H pick.

Sandra’s debut novel for teens is inspired by a true story found in a box of letters. Muckers follows quarterback Red O’Sullivan, who must lead his 1950 football squad to a state championship as their world is suddenly upended, widening the rift between Anglos and Mexican Americans. Called “Friday Night Lights meets Remember the Titans and West Side Story,” Muckers was named a Best Book of the Year by Booklist "Bookends" and received a starred review from School Library Journal.

Sandra is also co-author of Babe Conquers The World, a biography for children on the first and greatest female professional athlete, Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Sandra’s own sporting drive and experience with gender discrimination bring fresh insight into a remarkable, flawed hero. The book is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Upcoming Appearances

  • New Hampshire School Visits
  • Keene, NH Monadnock Int'l Film FEstival Panel on Civil Rights' MORE INFO HERE
  • Rochester, NH Author Fair 10-2:30pm MORE INFO HERE
  • Manchester, NH NH School Library Conference MORE INFO HERE

Praise + Press


“This exemplar text should be a staple for all collections looking to diversify their biography, sports, and women’s history offerings.” —School Library Journal
“This energetic biography is at its best when it reveals how Babe’s drive changed so many areas in women’s sports even as society resisted their inclusion. The Wallaces handle the abrasive aspects of Babe’s personality as frankly as they highlight her successes. … Offers the combination of sports, entertainment, and celebrity that will interest young readers, and the Wallaces play it well.” —Kirkus
“Part sports journalism, part narrative nonfiction, and part proof that professional athletes can be exemplary role models for young people.” —Booklist
“The Wallaces do an excellent job of giving readers a great sense of Babe and who she was, warts and all.” —Booklist “Bookends”

“She was brash, she was impossible, she was a winner for the ages. Only a great book could capture the legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias--and this is it.”
—Jerry Spinelli, Newbery winning author of Maniac Magee and Newbery Honor Wringer

A Junior Library Guild selection

A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers

An ALA Notable

A Nonfiction Detectives Best Book of the year

A Nebraska Library Commission Best Teen Book

A Cybils Award nominee

Finalist, Arizona’s Grand Canyon Reader Award, Tween Nonfiction


“Fans of H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights and other football histories will appreciate this inspiring tale.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“Wallace deftly depicts the atmosphere of an era when segregation—between Mexicans and “Anglos”—was standard … provides enough emotional drama to create a rich work of historical fiction that will draw in even those without an interest in the sport.” —Publishers Weekly
“Wallace, a former ESPN correspondent, captures a vivid sense of atmosphere and well-wrought characters, all while showcasing balls-to-the-wall football action.” —Booklist
“[A] richly textured portrayal of a small town coping with the economic, political and racial realities of post–World War II America.... Distinctive characters and finely drawn specifics of locale and landscape set this football story apart.” —Kirkus
A Junior Library Guild selection

Booklist Top 10 Sports Books For Youth

A Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the year

A Booklist “Bookends” Best Book of the year

Finalist, New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Reads Award

Finalist, Arizona’s Grand Canyon Reader Award, Young Adult


“This thoughtful, tender book will appeal to those readers who are familiar with the Stegners’ world, and many more will be able to identify with the highs and lows of familial love.” —School Library Journal
“[Eli’s] determination to win and carry on a family tradition gets in the way of a blossoming affection for an animal friend in this fine story of a young boy’s choices.” —Midwest Book Review
“Animal lovers will be fascinated by the details of raising beef cattle as well as the economic realities of modern farm life.” —Booklist
“Though heartwarming and engaging to the reader, this book remains an accurate, in-depth account of life on the farm.” —USDA’s Agriculture in the Classroom
    Finalist, South Carolina Children’s Book Award

    Master list, Oklahoma Sequoya Award

    A U.S. Department of Agriculture curriculum selection

    An American Farm Bureau curriculum selection


“You inspired me to write my own book.” – Dylan, grade 5

Sandra Neil Wallace has inspired thousands of young students and burgeoning writers as a guest author and writing workshop leader. Sandra enjoys visiting schools along with her husband, author Rich Wallace. Find out about their school visits on Sandra’s SCHOOL VISIT GUIDE.

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“Because of their range of titles and experience, Sandra and Rich captivated their audiences from grades K-8.” Jessica Klinker Immaculate Conception School