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Take Me Out to the Ball Park

What is better on a warm summer afternoon than a game of baseball? It is the great American pastime, after all! Meet baseball players whose passion broke various barriers and find out about the history of the game.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

All Star! Honus Wagner & the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever

By: Jane Yolen
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The baseball card of "…the bandy-legged son of German immigrants" sold for almost three million dollars in 2007. Honus Wagner was an all-around player who could hit, run, and play shortstop equally well. Highlights of his life and some of the myths that swirled up around him are presented in evocative, energetic text and handsome paintings.

Baseball from A to Z

By: Michael Spradlin
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Comic illustrations effectively combine with a straightforward text to bring baseball terms to life. From A ("Ace. The best pitcher on the team…") to Z ("Strike Zone. To be in the strike zone, a pitch must be…") the alphabet is a device used to introduce all things baseball, likely to be appreciated by even young aficionados.

Casey at the Bat

By: Ernest Thayer, Christopher Bing
Illustrated by: Christopher Bing, Ernest Thayer
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ernest Thayer's now-classic ballad about Mudville's mighty slugger has been newly and magnificently illutrated by Christopher Bing. The story is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. A Caldecott Honor Book.

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

By: Deborah Hopkinson
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

She seemed born to pitch when growing up in a small Ohio town and pitch she did at a time when women only wore skirts or dresses. Stylized illustrations combine with the fictionalized voice of Alta Weiss to present a memorable glimpse of early baseball, one young woman's passion for the game, and a quick look at women in the sport.

Home-Run King

By: Patricia McKissack
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

There were always discoveries to be made in their grandmother's attic; and Gee always had a story to go along with it. On this visit, the cousins find an autographed baseball that leads to a story about the Negro Baseball League and its stars, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. Exciting, predictable, and well-paced, this is sure to appeal to children.

Let's Play Baseball

By: Charles Smith
Illustrated by: Terry Widener
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A baseball encourages a boy to play the game, to enjoy the sounds, excitement, and camaraderie of the game. The short, rhyming text is accompanied by humorous illustrations for a playful look at baseball for younger children.

Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen

By: Marissa Moss, C. F. Payne
Illustrated by: C. F. Payne
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jackie loved to pitch baseball. Her long practices paid off when at 17-years old she pitched for the Chattanooga Lookouts in a demonstration game against the New York Yankees. Jackie struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig — and forever changed baseball's rules. The excitement of Jackie Mitchell's story is well-paced, illustrated with slightly exaggerated and altogether winning illustrations.

My Baseball Book

By: Gail Gibbons
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The basic rules and equipment of baseball are introduced in simple words and straightforward illustrations. Those interested in the nitty-gritty of the game will appreciate this practical presentation.

No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Season

By: Fred Bowen
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ted Williams never flinched at hard work or a challenge. In his last season with the Boston Red Sox, Williams had to decide if he wanted to take the chance and lose his rare .400 average or go to bat. Williams' decision creates a riveting read in this handsome and thoughtful look at one man's ethics and the times in which he lived.

Players in Pigtails

By: Shana Corey
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Katie Casey follows her passion for baseball and winds up playing for one of the professional girls' teams — and wins. The little known opening of a well-known tune, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," inspired this fictionalized look at the professional all-girls baseball league that thrived during World War II.

Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds

By: Robert Burleigh
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lush, realistic illustrations combine with a simple text to suggest what it must have been like when the pioneering Jackie Robinson played ball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Additional factual information is included in what is made to look like baseball cards on each page. The result is a handsome book that can be appreciated by different ages.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
April 7, 2014
March 27, 2014
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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln