Swing, Batter, Batter! Swing!
Strike! You’re outta here!
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks . . .
What’s the most famous American pastime that has also changed how Americans live today? Baseball! With important events such as Jackie Robinson breaking down color barriers, Babe Ruth’s historic home runs, and the introduction of many significant athletes, baseball has had a major impact on American history.
It’s no wonder so many authors have written books about this fun pastime. So as we dive into another exciting season of baseball, get pumped up with my top five baseball reads:
5. The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott
If you’re a fan of baseball, especially a fan of the Boston Red Sox, you’ll love this book. Join 12-year-old Oscar Egg as he takes on what he believes is a curse on his favorite team. Will he be able to break the curse deep below Fenway Park in time for the Sox to win the World Series? [Note: Even Yankees fans will want to read this exciting story!]
4. The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings by Alan Gratz
Step back in time as the Schneider kids take you through their baseball experiences and connections, from old-time Brooklyn to today. While reading about the games and team adventures that the Schneiders embark on, you’ll witness how the sport of baseball has fundamentally changed and yet remained the same.
3. Safe At Home by Sharon Robinson
Who knew a 10-year-old’s summer could be so terrible?! Meet Elijiah Breeze, a.k.a. Jumper. His father just passed away, he has to leave his secure suburban home in Connecticut for his mother’s home in the hectic area of Harlem, New York City, and he has to trade in basketball, his favorite sport, for baseball camp. Discover how Jumper fares as he struggles to adjust to a new life, a new sport, and a new world.
2. Heat by Mike Lupica
In this heartwarming, fast-paced, exhilarating novel, Mike Lupica offers readers an exciting look into the world of baseball. A former sports columnist for The New York Daily News, Mike Lupica is the go-to author for kids’ sports reads. In this book Lupica invites us into the home of Michael Arroyo, a poor Cuban boy living in the Bronx with his older brother after losing both of his parents. With all Michael has lost — his home, his parents, and his friends from Cuba — Michael still has baseball. Follow Michael as he tries to overcome the obstacles hindering him from doing what he loves best: playing baseball.
1. The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
What would you do if the fate of your town rested on winning one baseball game? Now, that’s a lot of pressure! Author John H. Ritter captures this very problem as he introduces Tom Gallagher, the boy who has to save the town and the sport of baseball. The good news is he has a plan. The bad news? It’s going to be extremely challenging . . .
You don’t have to be a fan of baseball to enjoy these books. They aren’t just about the sport, but they are also about forming lasting friendships, enduring hardships, and overcoming obstacles.
— Carly M., STACKS Staffer