Children's Literature @ NYPL
Batter Up! New and Notable Baseball Books for Kids
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.