Batter Up! New and Notable Baseball Books for Kids
- October 24, 2013, 4:04 am
Take Me Out to the Yakyu (2013) by Aaron Meshon. A little boy's grandfathers, one in America and one in Japan, teach him about baseball and its rich, varying cultural traditions. In America—hot dogs at the ball park; in Japan—soba noodles!
Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio (2013) by Robert Skead. In 1936, the New York Yankees wanted to test a hot prospect named Joe DiMaggio to see if he was ready for the big leagues. They knew just the ballplayer to call, Satchel Paige, the best pitcher anywhere, black or white. For the game, Paige joined a group of amateur African-American players, and they faced off against a team of white major leaguers plus young DiMaggio.
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! (2013) by Jonah Winter. A picture book biography of the record-setting baseball star traces his Birmingham childhood, achievements in the Negro Leagues, and fame as a center fielder for the Giants.
Becoming Babe Ruth (2013) by Matt Tavares. A picture book biography that focuses on Ruth's mischievous childhood in Baltimore before his life-changing enrollment in Saint Mary's Industrial School for Boys, where a strict code of conduct and his introduction to baseball inspired his historic career.
Down to the Last Out The Journal of Biddy Owens: the Negro Leagues (2001; 2013 reissue) by Walter Dean Meyers. A teenager's 1948 journal about working for the Birmingham Black Barons covers the games, the players, racism the team faces, and his family's resistance to his becoming a professional, with a historical note about the Negro Leagues.
Barbed Wire Baseball (2013) by Marissa Moss. Traces the childhood dream of Japanese-American baseball pioneer Kenichi Zenimura of playing professionally and his family's struggles in a World War II internment camp where he introduces baseball to raise hope.
Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball (2013) by David A. Kelly. This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Lena Blackburne and his Baseball Rubbing Mud, which major league teams (and many other teams) use to take the shine off brand-new baseballs.Strike Three, You're Dead (2013) by Josh Berk. Lenny Norbeck and his friends The Mikes set out to investigate the suspicious death of a young pitcher at a Phillies game in this baseball mystery.Three Burps and You're Out! (2013) by Nancy E. Krulik. George is the catcher for the school baseball team, but when they play their archrivals in the championship game, will a magical super burp lead the Sugarman Sea Monkeys to victory or defeat?Zombie Baseball Beatdown (2013) by Paolo Bacigalupi. While practicing for their next baseball game, thirteen-year-old friends Rabi, Miguel, and Joe discover that the nefarious activities of the Delbe, Iowa, meatpacking plant have caused cows to turn into zombies (!!). What title could be better for a week of the World Series + Halloween then zombies and baseball?
Looking for more Baseball Recommendations?Baseball Books for Kids - NYPL Recommended titles from June 2012Black Baseball and Black Music in the Era of the Color Line: Talks at the Schomburg November 20, 2013 6:30-8pm FREE lecture on the connections between black music and black baseball.Nicknames and The Hall of Fame: A look at Baseball's All-time Best - a look back at some of the all-time greats in both playing and a more unsual category, nicknames.And don't forget to check out the A.G. Spalding Baseball Collection in the NYPL Digital Collections for original archival photographs from baseball's early days - such as Babe Ruth stealing second in the World Series (below).