Imagine the sun on your face, a hot dog in one hand and a cold soda in the other. What could be better? Across the country, families are looking forward to the baseball season opening day, and they’ll soon be making memories their children will cherish for decades to come.
If your children have an interest in baseball, there are a number of books that could also spur their interest in reading. If your child enjoys delving into facts and figures, she might like Sports Illustrated’s, The Big Book of Who: Baseball or Dan Gutman’s My Weird School Fast Facts: Sports.
Does your son like hearing stories about the “olden days” of the sport? He might enjoy Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero (Barb Rosenstock) or Joan Holub’s Who Was Babe Ruth? The Who Was series offers other options, too, such as Who Was Jackie Robinson? (Gail Herman) and Who Was Roberto Clemente? (James Buckley, Jr.).
There are other non-fiction books about players and teams from long ago, of course. Audrey Vernick’s Brothers at Bat tells the story of a 1930’s team made entirely of members of the Acerra family and her book She Loved Baseball relates the story of Effa Manley, the only woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
There are many works of fiction relating to baseball, among them the popular Baseball Card Adventure series by Dan Gutman. In these twelve books, a boy finds baseball cards while cleaning out an attic, and they transport him through time, giving him the chance to meet Shoeless Joe Jackson, Abner Doubleday, and other legends of the sport.
Other fictional works have been written by authors with familiar names. Derek Jeter’s The Contract is the first book in a series for middle grade readers, and Jeter Publishing will be putting out picture books and non-fiction books, too. Most of Tiki and Ronde Barber’s novels for children have been about football, but with Extra Innings, they have written a baseball story.
Jackie Zataweski is the director of the Nottoway County Library in Crewe, Virginia.