Book Links September 2016 www.booklistonline.com/booklinks 18
early family troubles and placement
into Saint Mary’s Industrial School
for Boys to his triumphant career with
the New York Yankees. The narrative
telescopes much of his baseball career,
citing a few professional feats; explaining the origin of his nickname; and
vividly capturing his larger-than-life
celebrity status, including his enormous appetite, undisciplined lifestyle,
and boyish charm.
The Kid from Diamond Street:
The Extraordinary Story of Baseball
Legend Edith Houghton. By
Audrey Vernick. Illus. by Steven
Salerno. 2016. Clarion, $17.99
(9780544611634). Gr. 2–5.
This entertaining picture-book biography documents the adventures of
Edith Houghton, a shortstop with the
Philadelphia Bobbies, an all-girl exhibition baseball team from the 1920s
and ’30s. Droll illustrations and brief,
well-chosen anecdotes help readers
appreciate the early twentieth-century
novelty of women’s professional sports
and demonstrate how women had to
compete against men, due to lack of
This Is the Game. By Diane Z.
Shore and Jessica Alexander. Illus. by
Owen Smith. 2011. Harper, $16.99
(9780060555221). K–Gr. 3.
This celebration of baseball is
relayed in verse and illustrated with
bold double-page spreads. The stand-out illustrations, set in the 1920s
and ’30s, feature period images of
American streets and stadiums and
capture the excitement of the sport.
This reinforces the fact that baseball
was shamefully segregated during this
time period. Though many books
introduce the national pastime, the
welcome tweak here is the unique
Appalachian Life and Rural
Anybody Shining. By Frances
O’Roark Dowell. 2014. Atheneum,
$16.99 (9781442432925). Gr. 4–7.
Twelve-year-old Arie Mae lives in
the North Carolina mountains, where
she longs for a true, shining friend.
She begins writing to her cousin,
The Ballad of Jessie Pearl. By
Caroline, whom she
has never met. When
two ladies begin a
settlement school to
teach the residents
some important life
skills, reception is
wants change. Told
as a series of letters to
Caroline, this poi-
Appalachian life in the 1920s while
interspersing rich folklore.
Shannon Hitchcock. 2013. Namelos,
$18.95 (9781608981410). Gr. 5–8.
Jessie’s family has no sooner dealt
with the loss of her mother when her
older sister falls ill just after the birth
of her son. This is North Carolina in
the early 1920s, and Jessie must leave
school to help care for her hardworking farm family. When baby Ky is left
motherless, Jessie wonders if she will
ever have an opportunity to venture
beyond home and pursue her dreams
of attaining higher education and
becoming a teacher.
Bo at Ballard Creek. By Kirkpatrick
Hill. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. 2013.
Holt, $15.99 (9780805093513).
When Bo was a newborn, two
gold miners saved her from life in an
orphanage and brought her to Ballard
Creek, a gold-mining camp and
Eskimo village in Alaska. Set in the
late 1920s, after the big Alaskan gold
rushes, this is mostly a slice of life:
Bo visits her kind neighbors, pitches
in with the never-ending workload,
and is supported in her tomboyish
adventures by her two papas.
Whistle in the Dark. By Susan
Hill Long. 2013. Holiday, $16.95
(9780823428397). Gr. 5–8.
In the 1920s Ozarks, Clemson
Jasper Harding is turning 13. Forced
to help pay for his epileptic sister
Esther’s medical bills, Clem begins a dangerous life as a child lead
miner, forgoing the life he would
prefer—attending school and writing stories—before discovering the
illicit moonshine business. In Long’s
gentle rendering, what emerges from
this story of overcoming obstacles
are strong family bonds and Clem’s
Maggie Reagan is a Books for Youth
Associate Editor at Booklist.
play all night in
Harlem, as seen
in Carole Boston
illustrated by R.