Guide to Juvenile Baseball Books: A
- Acampora, Paul. "Great Moments in Baseball." In Mercado. Mother and elder brother attempt to fill a deceased father's place in the life and baseball ambitions of a youth-league pitcher.
Told with perception and sympathy.
- Adler, David A. The Babe & I. Illustrated by Terry Widener. San Diego: Harcourt, 1999. In 1932, a boy sells papers outside Yankee Stadium to help his family make ends meet, and ends up selling one to Babe Ruth.
- Adler, David A. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball. Illustrated by Susanna Natti. New York: Viking, 1982. [Cam Jansen Adventure #6] Cam Jansen, the girl with the photographic memory, nabs a memorabilia thief.
Cam, you see, stores mental pictures of whatever goes on. She's a walking pre-teen surveillance system. After she identifies the perp, she summons the police, who baldly violate his Fourth Amendment rights. Teachers and school librarians seem to love her, but I am worried by little Miss Jansen.
- Adler, David A. Jeffrey's Ghost and the Leftover Baseball Team. Illustrated by Jean Jenkins. New York: Holt, 1984. Friendly ghost intervenes invisibly to help a team of rejects succeed on the diamond.
Until, naturally, they find inadvertently that they can do even better without him. A pleasant enough variation on an ancient theme.
- Adler, David A. Mama Played Baseball. Illustrated by Chris O'Leary. San Diego: Harcourt, 2003. During the second World War, a woman takes a job in the All-American Girls' league to support her family.
Picture book that tells its simple story through the eyes of the ballplayer's young daughter Amy.
- Aiello, Barbara, and Jeffrey Shulman. It's Your Turn at Bat: Featuring Mark Riley. Illustrated by Loel Barr. Frederick, MD: Twenty-First Century, 1988. [The Kids on the Block Book Series] A young sports reporter is dismayed when a teacher assigns him a report on sewing--but when his baseball team needs uniforms, the research comes in handy.
Mark Riley, the protagonist, is a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. One of a series of children's books featuring diversely abled characters.
- Alborough, Jez. Hit the Ball Duck. 2005. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller, 2006. Wacky ballgame played by farm animals.
The first edition of this picture book was a British publication by HarperCollins.
- Alden, Laura. Umpire's Adventure in Alphabet Town. Illustrated by Linda Hohag. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1992. Unable to find his uniform, Umpire wears his underwear on a journey across this letter-happy city in search of it.
The entry between Turtle's Adventure and Victor's Adventure in Alden's popular series.
- Alexander, Holmes. "Now in October." Saturday Evening Post. In Owen (1948). Scrappy veteran second sacker is goaded into all-out play by news that he's being shipped down to Newark.
The shortstop's name in this story is "Pinky Jennifer." Ah, those were more innocent times . . .
- [Allen, Alex B.] No Place for Baseball. Illustrated by Kevin Royt. Chicago: Albert Whitman, 1973. [Springboard Sports Series] High fly ball shatters neighbor's window: where to play that will not involve constant reglazing?
"Alex B. Allen" appears to be a pseudonym for prolific collaborators Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Clief.
- Allison, Bob, and Frank Ernest Hill. The Kid Who Batted 1.000. Illustrated by Paul Galdone. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1951. A young chicken farmer from Oklahoma draws 299 consecutive walks and leads his team to the World Series.
Wacky and well-written, this novel about a sabermetrician's dream ballplayer suffers only from its inherent lack of tension: since Dave King can draw a walk at will, the only suspense is in wondering when he won't (how does the seventh game of the Series sound?) Much-imitated, notably by Matt Christopher and Troon McAllister; there are also elements here of the archetype that Bernard Malamud would draw on for The Natural.
Note: the author is NOT the sameBob Allison who starred for the Twins in the 1960s.
- Anderson, Jack. "Surprise Pitch!" Boy's Life. In Owen (1948). Hurt in a spill from a horse, a young pitcher tries switch-hurling.
Pleasant little yarn with a modest double-twist at the end.
- Anderson, Ken. Tom Huntner -- Sophomore Pitcher. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1947. Steely title hero learns that, in life as on the diamond, your best trick pitch is a straight fastball.
While Tom Huntner is blazing those fastballs, we get a comic-relief subplot where a chubby pal of his becomes an amateur graphologist, and a sinister subplot involving Lanky, a teammate who breaks training to smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and hang around with "middle-aged men who looked as if they might have been the villains of any of a dozen books Tom had read!" Lanky is the one stiff-necked player who hasn't responded to the evangelism of the improbably-named coach Dyke Southern. When Lanky is finally arrested, "Tom turned and went to his room, to pray as he had never prayed."
- Archibald, Joe. "Diamond Dust." In Margulies (1948). Scout plans a dirty trick to secure a pitching prospect, but alert opponents foil him.
- Asano Atsuko. Battery. Tokyo: Kyouikugageki, 1996. Newcomer pitcher and veteran catcher learn to work together to help their youth-league team win on the diamond.
First in a successful series of novels about the batterymates.
- Auch, MJ. One-Handed Catch. New York: Holt, 2006. In 1946, young Norm Schmidt loses his hand to a meat grinder, but regains the ability to play baseball -- and learns to live an independent life.
There's not all that much baseball here till the final scene. Inspired by the author's husband Herm Auch, the model for Norm, One-Handed Catch is a well-constructed, imaginative recreation of a disabled child's adjustment to the world, both physically and socially.