With baseball season well underway and many young readers currently enjoying a much-deserved summer break, I thought now might be the perfect time to start sharing a new series of posts that explore specific sports in middle grade books, beginning with baseball! So break out those peanuts and Cracker Jacks, because we’re hitting the field with these 45 middle grade books about baseball – Here’s hoping I didn’t strike out with these selections!
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Please Note: Upcoming publication dates might be subject to change.
An enthralling, eye-opening portrayal of this barrier-breaking American hero as a lifelong, relentlessly proud fighter for Black justice and civil rights.
According to Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson was “a sit-inner before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before the Freedom Rides.” According to Hank Aaron, Robinson was a leader of the Black Power movement before there was a Black Power movement. According to his wife, Rachel Robinson, he was always Jack, not Jackie ― the diminutive form of his name bestowed on him in college by white sports writers. And throughout his whole life, Jack Robinson was a fighter for justice, an advocate for equality, and an inspiration beyond just baseball.
From prominent Robinson scholars Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long comes Call Him Jack, an exciting biography that recovers the real person behind the legend, reanimating this famed figure’s legacy for new generations, widening our focus from the sportsman to the man as a whole, and deepening our appreciation for his achievements on the playing field in the process.
Read about Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente in Hispanic Star: Roberto Clemente, and learn the most groundbreaking, iconic Hispanic and Latinx heroes that have shaped our culture and the world in this gripping biography series for young readers, perfect for fans of the Who Was series.
If you can see it, you can be it.
Meet Puerto Rican Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, once just a kid from Carolina, Puerto Rico, who loved to play baseball on the streets of his hometown with friends and family. As a right fielder, Roberto played eighteen seasons with Major League Baseball, but his life was tragically cut short when a plane he chartered to bring earthquake relief supplies to Nicaragua crashed. The first Latin American player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Clemente paved the way for generations of Latinx athletes.
Hispanic Star proudly celebrates Hispanic and Latinx heroes who have made remarkable contributions to American culture and have been undeniable forces in shaping its future.
An inspiring coming-of-age novel in verse about weathering the uncertainty that comes with family illness perfect for fans of Starfish and Red, White, and Whole.
Cass and her parents haven’t let her dad’s cancer stop them from having a good life — full of love and poems and one annual World Series game. Now that Dad’s cancer is back, Cass overhears the doctor say that she has a 50% chance of inheriting her dad’s genetic mutation, Li-Fraumeni syndrome. There’s a genetic test Cass can take that will tell her for sure. There’s still so much she wants to do — play baseball, study at the zoo, travel the world with her best friend, Jayla. Would it be better not to know?
When it turns out Dad’s cancer is worse this time, Cass is determined to keep up their World Series tradition while navigating all the change and uncertainty that lies ahead.
Poignant and powerful, Cass’s story brings the pains and anxiety linked with illness to the surface, and reminds us that sometimes hope is worth holding on to.
Sandlot meets Esperanza Rising in this lyrical middle grade novel set in the 1930s about a strong-willed girl who finds her voice in a tale of moxie, peaches, and determination to thrive despite the odds.
When the skies dried up, Gloria thought it was temporary. When the dust storms rolled in, she thought they would pass. But now the bank man’s come to take the family farm, and Pa’s decided to up and move to California in search of work. They’ll pick fruit, he says, until they can save up enough money to buy land of their own again.
There are only three rules at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard:
1. No stealing product.
2. No drunkenness or gambling.
3. And absolutely no organizing.
Well, Gloria Mae Willard isn’t about to organize any peaches, no ma’am. She’s got more on her mind than that. Like the secret, all-boys baseball team she’s desperate to play for, if only they’d give her a chance. Or the way that wages keep going down. The way their company lodgings are dirty and smelly, and everyone seems intent on leaving her out of everything.
But Gloria has never been the type to wait around for permission. If the boys won’t let her play, she’ll find a way to make them. If the people around her are keeping secrets, then she’ll keep a few of her own. And if the boss men at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard say she can’t organize peaches, then by golly she’ll organize a whole ball game.
Middle grade star author Chris Rylander brings his signature sense of humor, a compelling and original baseball story, and tons of heart to the story of the Hurricanes of Weakerville.
All his life, Alex Weakerman has had one passion: baseball. Specifically, the Hurricanes of Weakerville, Iowa — the scrappy independent-league team owned by his Grandpa Ira.
Even as team and the town have fallen on tough times, there’s no place Alex would rather be than at the ballpark — a hot dog in one hand, a pencil and scorebook in the other, keeping track of each and every statistic. Alex has never been all that great at playing baseball, but that doesn’t matter. For someone as painfully awkward as Alex, being a fan — and a wiz with baseball stats — is all he needs.
When Grandpa Ira passes away, though, Alex is crushed. He’s lost his best friend, and he doesn’t see any way that the team will survive. But Ira, it seems, has one last trick up his sleeve: his will names Alex the new manager of the Hurricanes.
Alex is as excited as he is terrified at the chance to finally put some of his fantasy baseball genius to use. But as he sets to work trying to win over the players, he soon learns that leading them to victory is about more than just stats. Will he be able to save his team, his hometown, and his family legacy?
From the author of The Fourth Stall, a SCBWI Sid Fleischman Humor Award winner and multiple state-award favorite, The Hurricanes of Weakerville is sure to appeal to middle grade readers looking for a funny book about real kids.
A heartfelt novel about a softball-loving girl coming to terms with her parents’ humanity after a scandal sends shock waves through her town.
Bea’s parents think she can accomplish absolutely anything — and she’s determined to prove them right. But at the end of seventh grade, on the same day she makes a gutsy play to send her softball team to the league championships and Xander, the boy she likes, makes it clear that he likes her too, a scandal shakes up her world. Bea’s dad made a big mistake, taking money that belonged to a client. He’s now suspended from practicing law, and another lawyer spread the news online. To make matters worse, that other lawyer is Xander’s dad.
Bea doesn’t want to be angry with her dad, especially since he feels terrible and is trying to make things right. But she can’t face the looks of pity from all her friends, and then she starts missing throws in softball because she’s stuck in her own head. The thing she was best at seems to be slipping out of her fingers along with her formerly happy family. She’s not sure what’s going to be harder — learning to throw again, or forgiving her dad. How can she be the best version of herself when everything she loves is falling apart?
It might be America’s favorite pastime, but baseball isn’t just an American sport!
From Cuba to Japan, Australia to Italy, a diverse melting pot of countries and cultures have embraced the ole ballgame. In Baseball Around The World, you’ll take a multicultural world tour to meet the nations and players who have pushed baseball to international popularity ― with a twist, of course.
Find out what they eat at Japanese baseball stadiums, how a gold rush brought baseball to Australia, why South Korean games are allowed to end in a tie, and much more in this home run of a book!
From the introduction:
People often think of baseball as an American sport. Terms such as “America’s pastime” and the “boys of summer” bring up images of warm summer nights in small towns. Yes, the game we think of ― that we know and love ― is rooted in the sandlots and Little League fields across the U.S. But baseball is so much bigger. In many ways, baseball really is a world sport…As you read this book and learn about baseball around the world, you’ll see just how much the game unifies us. Regardless of our differences, our love for the game of baseball is all the same!
When a boy struggles after moving to a Japanese internment camp during WWII, baseball shows him another way to approach life.
Sandy Saito is a happy boy who reads comic books and is obsessed with baseball – especially the Asahi team, the pride of his Japanese Canadian community. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his life, like that of every other North American of Japanese descent, changes forever. His family is forced to move to a remote internment camp, and his father must spend months away from them. Sandy, his mother and his brother cope as best they can with the difficulties at the camp. Over time, Sandy comes to realize that life is a lot like baseball. It’s about dealing with whatever is thrown at you, however you can. And it’s about finding your way home.
In this emotionally gripping graphic novel, J. Torres has artfully woven a fictional story into a historically accurate, thoroughly researched account of the events surrounding the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. Using the approachable graphic novel format, the story of this grave chapter in North American history is gently told with sensitivity and insight, and the theme of baseball runs through the story as a message of hope and renewal. The time and place are evocatively rendered in David Namisato’s detailed sepia-toned art. Along with its links to social studies and history lessons, this book offers a perfect lead-in to discussions about differences, inclusion and empathy, and about why this history is relevant today. The book includes extended background information in an afterword by Susan Aihoshi and resources for learning more.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field.
Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.
Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.
Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending — and family-name-ruining — crime may have been a setup.
Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. And Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.
It’s up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past — and fast — before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.
In this companion novel to Midsummer’s Mayhem, math and baseball combine with savory snacks to cause confusion and calamity in the town of Comity by Newbery-Honor winner Rajani LaRocca.
Twelve-year-old Trish can solve tough math problems and throw a mean fastball. But because of her mom’s new job, she’s now facing a summer trying to make friends all over again in a new town. That isn’t an easy thing to do, and her mom is too busy to notice how miserable she is.
But at her first baseball practice, Trish realizes one of her teammates is Ben, the sixth-grade math prodigy she beat in the spring Math Puzzler Championships. Everyone around them seems to think that with their math talent and love of baseball, it’s only logical that Trish and Ben become friends, but Ben makes it clear he still hasn’t gotten over that loss and can’t stand her. To make matters worse, their team can’t win a single game. But then they meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family’s store, which sells unusual snacks that will make them better ballplayers. Trish is dubious, but she’s willing to try almost anything to help the team.
When a mysterious booklet of math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrives in her mailbox, Trish and Ben start to get closer and solve the puzzles together. Ben starts getting hits, and their team becomes unstoppable. Trish is happy to keep riding the wave of good luck…until they get to a puzzle they can’t solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the answer to this ultimate puzzle, or will they strike out when it counts the most?
For fans of Hidden Figures and Steve Sheinkin’s Undefeated, Andrea Williams’s Baseball’s Leading Lady is the powerful true story of Effa Manley, the first and only woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, Black athletes played in the Negro Leagues – on teams coached by Black managers, cheered on by Black fans, and often run by Black owners.
Here is the riveting true story of the woman at the center of the Black baseball world: Effa Manley, co-owner and business manager of the Newark Eagles. Elegant yet gutsy, she cultivated a powerhouse team. Yet just as her Eagles reached their pinnacle, so did calls to integrate baseball, a move that would all but extinguish the Negro Leagues.
On and off the field, Effa hated to lose. She had devoted her life to Black empowerment – but in the battle for Black baseball, was the game rigged against her?
Lupe Wong is going to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues.
She’s also championed causes her whole young life. Some worthy, like expanding the options for race on school tests beyond just a few bubbles. And some not so much, like complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons.
Lupe needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favorite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who’s Chinacan/Mexinese just like her. So when the horror that is square dancing rears its head in gym? Obviously she’s not gonna let that slide.
This heartfelt middle grade debut about grief, creativity, and the healing power of friendship shows that not all heroes wear capes and is perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Ali Benjamin.
Whether they’re on the baseball field or in Nate’s basement devouring the newest issue of their favorite comic book, Dan and Nate are always talking. Until they’re not.
After an accident at baseball practice, Nate’s fallen into a coma. And if Dan ever wants to talk to Nate again, he’s got to take a page out of his hero Captain Nexus’s book, and do whatever it takes to save the day.
But heroes have powers — and without Nate, all Dan has is a closet stuffed with comics and a best-friend-shaped hole in his heart. There’s no way a regular kid can save the day all on his own. Right?
Thirteen-year-old Satoshi Matsumoto spent the last three years living in Atlanta where he was the star of his middle-school baseball team ― a slugger with pro potential, according to his coach. Now that his father’s work in the US has come to an end, he’s moved back to his hometown in rural Japan. Living abroad has changed him, and now his old friends in Japan are suspicious of his new foreign ways. Even worse, his childhood foe Shintaro, whose dad has ties to gangsters, is in his homeroom. After he joins his new school’s baseball team, Satoshi has a chance to be a hero until he makes a major-league error.
In this perfectly pitched novel-in-letters, autistic eleven-year-old Vivy Cohen won’t let anything stop her from playing baseball – not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal.
Vivy Cohen is determined. She’s had enough of playing catch in the park. She’s ready to pitch for a real baseball team.
But Vivy’s mom is worried about Vivy being the only girl on the team, and the only autistic kid. She wants Vivy to forget about pitching, but Vivy won’t give up. When her social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone, Vivy knows exactly who to choose: her hero, Major League pitcher VJ Capello. Then two amazing things happen: A coach sees Vivy’s amazing knuckleball and invites her to join his team. And VJ starts writing back!
Now Vivy is a full-fledged pitcher, with a catcher as a new best friend and a steady stream of advice from VJ. But when a big accident puts her back on the bench, Vivy has to fight to stay on the team.
A heartfelt and relatable novel from Phil Bildner, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke – the first professional baseball player to come out as gay – into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself.
When sixth grader Silas Walker does a school presentation on former Major League Baseball player Glenn Burke, it’s more than just a report on the inventor of the high five. Burke was a black gay baseball player in the 1970s ― and for Silas, the presentation is his own first baby step toward coming out as gay.
Soon he tells his best friend Zoey, but the longer he keeps his secret from his baseball teammates, the more he suspects they know something’s up. Kids get pulled from the team, fingers point at Silas, and he stages one big cover-up with terrible consequences. Was it a mistake to share his truth?
A High Five For Glenn Burke is Phil Bildner’s most personal novel yet, and drives home the message that there’s no one way to come out ― and there’s a place in the field for everyone.
A suspenseful and heartfelt story about an era whose uncertainties, controversies, and dangers will seem anything but distant to contemporary readers.
If thirteen-year-old Marty Rafner had his way, he’d spend the summer of 1953 warming the bench for his baseball team, listening to Yankees games on the radio, and avoiding preparations for his bar mitzvah. Instead, he has to deal with FBI agents staking out his house because his parents ― professors at the local college ― are suspected communist sympathizers. Marty knows what happens to communists, or Reds, as his friends call them: They lose their jobs, get deported…or worse. Two people he’s actually met, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, have been convicted of being communist spies, and they’re slated to be executed in two months.
Marty just wants everything to go back to normal, but that’s impossible thanks to the rumors that his parents are traitors. As his friends and teammates turn on him and federal agents track his every move, Marty isn’t sure what to believe. Is his family really part of a Red Menace working against the United States? And even if they’re simply patriotic Americans who refuse to be bullied by the government, what will it cost them?
As the countdown to the Rosenbergs’ execution date continues, it may be up to Marty to make sure his family survives.
Twins Stacy and Gina are on rival little league teams, and when Gina accidentally unleashes a curse that wakes the dead, Stacy’s misfit team gets coached by a baseball-playing zombie!
Stacy and Gina Cavallaro are twin sisters and baseball rivals, each pitching for a different Little League team. Gina is a sports whiz and the star of her winning team, while Stacy’s band of misfits hasn’t won a game all season. The battling sisters also happen to be the youngest in a long line of local witches. So when Gina’s magic spins out of control and her spell accidentally raises a zombie, the girls have to set aside their differences and figure out how to make things right. And Stacy’s team of misfits – Billy, Sanchez, Levi, Beans, Paddy, Killroy, Gomez, and Boots – must band together to save the day!
From acclaimed author of the Home Team series Mike Lupica comes an inspiring novel about the heart and soul of baseball.
On or off the field, Ben and Matt couldn’t be more different. Ben Roberson is an all-or-nothing player: he’s big, he’s bold, and he’s brash. Ben’s swing can hit a ball right out of the park — but that’s if he can get a hit at all.
Matt Baker is small, and shy, and his stutter has him avoiding the spotlight — even if he’s the best all-rounder on the team. But while Matt knows he’s got the chops, a part of him has always envied “Big Ben” and his attention-grabbing charm.
So it’s a total shock when Ben asks Matt to help him work on his swing. Because Ben can’t put the ball into play, and his showboating comes at the expense of the team. And even though Matt’s trying to help, Ben doesn’t seem to take him seriously, especially when it means toning things down.
The end of the season is fast approaching — is there enough time for Ben to realize bigger isn’t always better? For Matt to understand that sometimes, being the bigger person means standing up for yourself?
Or will they have to accept defeat?
It’s the game everyone has been waiting for-The Fernwood Valley Fuzzies Vs. The Rocky Ridge Red Claws! The Fuzzies, featuring such all-star players as Jackie Rabbitson, Sandy Kofox, and Hammy Sosa, are ready. So are the Red Claws, with players like Gator Gibson, Stetch Giraffolo, and Fernado del Toro. Together they’ll make this the greatest game ever played between the two longtime rivals. And you have a front row seat at Fuzzy Field!
Set in Philadelphia during the Great Depression, this middle-grade historical novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his best friend as they attempt to stop a wall from being built at Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics, that would block the view of the baseball field from their rooftops.
In 1930s Philadelphia, twelve-year-old Jimmy Frank and his best friend Lola live across the street from Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team. Their families and others on the street make extra money by selling tickets to bleachers on their flat rooftops, which have a perfect view of the field. However, falling ticket sales at the park prompt the manager and park owner to decide to build a wall that will block the view.
Jimmy and Lola come up with a variety of ways to prevent the wall from being built, knowing that not only will they miss the view, but their families will be impacted from the loss of income. As Jimmy becomes more and more desperate to save their view, his dubious plans create a rift between him and Lola, and he must work to repair their friendship.
A heartwarming, funny, fast-paced story about the bravery it takes to live as your true self, no matter the cost.
Ten-year-old Caspar “Caz” Cadman loves baseball and has a great arm. He loves the sounds, the smells, the stats. When his family moves from Toronto to a suburb of Seattle, the first thing he does is try out for the local summer team, the Redburn Ravens. Even though Caz is thrilled when he makes the team, he worries because he has a big secret.
No one in this city knows that before Caz told his parents he was a boy, he lived a very different life. It’s nobody’s business. Caz will tell his new friends when he’s ready. But when a player on a rival team starts snooping around, Caz’s past is revealed, and Caz worries it will be Toronto all over again.
Will Caz’s teammates rally behind their star pitcher? Or will Caz be betrayed once more?
This witty, heartfelt story about perseverance in the face of adversity is perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio, Cammie McGovern, and John David Anderson.
Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball — but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah.
Noah is scared he’ll never feel like his old self again. He doesn’t want people to think of him as different for the rest of his life. With the help of family and friends, he’ll have to throw off the mask he’s been hiding behind and face the fears that have kept him on the sidelines if he ever wants to move forward.
Perfect for fans of Cam Jansen, #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica begins an exciting new chapter-book series, featuring his trademark sports action and heart, and a lovable twin brother-sister duo who solve sports-related mysteries.
There’s nothing eight-year-old twins Zach and Zoe Walker love more than playing sports and solving mysteries. And when those two worlds collide…well, it doesn’t get any better than that. So when a baseball signed by Zach’s favorite major league player suddenly goes missing – the search is on! Luckily, amateur sleuths Zach and Zoe are on the case. Can they solve the mystery and find the ball before it’s lost for good?
In this first book of the Zach and Zoe Mysteries, bestselling author Mike Lupica begins a series for a new and younger audience, introducing readers to a sports-loving detective duo who can swing for the fences and catch the culprit in one fell swoop. With a recipe equal parts sports and mystery, the Zach and Zoe Mysteries break fresh ground for an author who has been called the greatest sportswriter for kids.
A story about the fight for equal rights in America’s favorite arena: the baseball field!
Every boy in the neighborhood knows Katy Gordon is their best pitcher, even though she’s a girl. But when she tries out for Little League, it’s a whole different story. Girls are not eligible, period. It is a boy’s game and always has been. It’s not fair, and Katy’s going to fight back.
Inspired by what she’s learning about civil rights in school, she sets out to prove that she’s not the only girl who plays baseball. With the help of friendly librarians and some tenacious research skills, Katy discovers the forgotten history of female ball players. Why does no one know about them? Where are they now? And how can one ten-year-old change people’s minds about what girls can do?
Set in 1957 — the world of Sputnik and Leave It To Beaver, saddle shoes and “Heartbreak Hotel” — Out Of Left Field is both a detailed picture of a fascinating historic period and a timelessly inspiring story about standing up for equality at any age.
Dear fans of Dork Diaries and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life — meet your new favorite kid-next-door hero! Gabby Garcia an overly confident baseball-obsessed sport nut who’s going to win your heart.
If life were a baseball game, all-star pitcher Gabby Garcia would be having her Best. Season. EVER! Until she’s suddenly sent to another school and her winning streak is about to disappear — both on and off the field.
But Gabby never gives up! She has a PLAN to keep her champion status intact, and every step of is written out — PLAY by PLAY. How could it not work?
This new series written by Iva-Marie Palmer is filled with funny illustrations, sports facts, and blooper-reel moments that will have readers laughing and rooting for more.
Nine-year-old Maria Singh longs to play softball in the first-ever girls’ team forming in Yuba City, California. It’s the spring of 1945, and World War II is dragging on. Miss Newman, Maria’s teacher, is inspired by Babe Ruth and the All-American Girls’ League to start a girls’ softball team at their school.
Meanwhile, Maria’s parents – Papi from India and Mama from Mexico – can no longer protect their children from prejudice and from the discriminatory laws of the land. When the family is on the brink of losing their farm, Maria must decide if she has what it takes to step up and find her voice in an unfair world.
In this fascinating middle grade novel, award-winning author Uma Krishnaswami sheds light on a little-known chapter of American history set in a community whose families made multicultural choices before the word had been invented.
Rafael has dreams to someday play Major League Baseball. Maya has worries, especially about the bees that are dying all over the world. Follow Rafael and Maya in a story that shifts back and forth in time and place, from Minnesota to the Dominican Republic. In their own ways, Maya and Rafael search for hope, face difficult choices, and learn a secret ― the same secret ― that forever changes how they see the world.
From the nationally syndicated cartoonist of “In The Bleachers” comes a new, highly illustrated middle grade series about Steve, who plays the same position in every sport: bench-warmer. Perfect for fans of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Timmy Failure, King of the Bench is an ode to teammates, underdogs, and bench-warmers everywhere.
Steve is King of the Bench. No brag. It’s just a fact. But this year, Steve and his friends are excited to try out for the Spiro T. Agnew Middle School baseball team. The only problem is, after watching another player get beaned by a fastball, Steve has developed a serious case of bean-o-phobia — the fear of getting hit by a pitch. If Steve ever wants to get off the bench and get in the game, he’s going to have to muster up some courage, and fast.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why Steve would write a book and tell total strangers all about the humiliating phobia that almost ruined his first year on the baseball team? Duh. It’s pretty much a rule that you spill your guts when you write a book about yourself.
Garland, Derby, and Triple Clark spend each season traveling highways and byways in their Rambler — until summer, when small-town Ridge Creek, Virginia, calls them back. There they settle in, selling burgers and fries out of Garland’s Grill after each game the Rockskippers play in their battered minor-league baseball stadium.
Derby’s summer traditions bring her closer than she’s ever been to a real home that isn’t on wheels, but this time, her return to Ridge Creek reveals unwelcome news. Now the person Derby loves most in town needs her help—and yet finding a way to do so may uncover deeply held stories and secrets.
Told in Derby’s unforgettable voice, this warm-hearted debut novel is about taking risks, planting roots, and discovering the true definition of home.
Miss Congeniality meets She’s The Man in this hilarious M!X novel about a girl torn between competing in a beauty pageant and playing on the boy’s baseball team.
Gabby’s summer vacation isn’t shaping up to be that great. Her dad was just deployed overseas, and Gabby is staying at her grandmother’s house with her mom and baby sister until he returns.
The one bright spot is that Gaby plans to sign up for the local softball league — her greatest love and a passion she shares with her Dad who was a pitcher in college. But when Gabby goes to sign up for the summer league, she discovers that there wasn’t enough interest to justify a girl’s team this year. And to top it off, a horrible miscommunication ends with Gabby signed up to participate in the Miss Popcorn Festival — the annual pageant that Gabby’s mom dominated when she was younger.
Besides not having any interest in the pageant life, Gabby made a promise to her dad that she would play softball for the summer. Since her pitching skills rival any boy her age, Gabby creates a master plan: disguise herself as a boy and sign up for the boy’s baseball team instead — and try to win the pageant to make Mom happy. Can Gabby juggle perfecting her pageant walk and perfecting her fastball? Or will this plan strike out?
A sensitive and endearing middle grade novel about a young Pakistani immigrant adjusting to his new life in contemporary America.
Ten-year-old Bilal liked his life back home in Pakistan. He was a star on his cricket team. But when his father suddenly sends the family to live with their aunt and uncle in America, nothing is familiar. While Bilal tries to keep up with his cousin Jalaal by joining a baseball league and practicing his English, he wonders when his father will join the family in Virginia. Maybe if Bilal can prove himself on the pitcher’s mound, his father will make it to see him play.
But playing baseball means navigating relationships with the guys, and with Jordan, the only girl on the team — the player no one but Bilal wants to be friends with.
Last summer, Quinnen was the star pitcher of her baseball team, the Panthers. They were headed for the championship, and her loudest supporter at every game was her best friend and older sister, Haley.
This summer, everything is different. Haley’s death, at the end of last summer, has left Quinnen and her parents reeling. Without Haley in the stands, Quinnen doesn’t want to play baseball. It seems like nothing can fill the Haley-sized hole in her world.
The one glimmer of happiness comes from the Bandits, the local minor-league baseball team. For the first time, Quinnen and her family are hosting one of the players for the season. Without her sister, Quinnen’s not sure it will be any fun, but soon she befriends a few players. With their help, can she make peace with the past and return to the pitcher’s mound?
A poignant coming-of-age novel for middle-grade readers about a young boy obsessed with baseball whose life changes drastically when war comes to his Vancouver Japanese community.
Ten-year-old Kenny (Kenji in Japanese) worships his older brother, Mickey (Mitsuo), a baseball hero whose outstanding performance on the Asahi baseball team has given him fame and popularity. Despite Kenny’s suspected heart condition, he is determined to practice secretly with Mickey so he, too, can one day try out for the Asahi. But world events soon overtake life in this quiet community.
When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in 1941, everything for Kenny and his family spirals out of control: schools are closed, businesses are confiscated, fathers are arrested and sent to work camps in the BC interior and mothers and children are relocated to internment camps. When Mickey is arrested for a small act of violence, Kenny manages to keep his family’s spirits up, despite the deplorable conditions in camp. Coming across a “vacant” field covered with scrap wood, broken shakes and torn tar paper, Kenny gets permission to clear it and convert it into a baseball field. One by one, the boys in the camp pitch in, and the work gives purpose to their long days.
Kenny’s persistence, hard work and big dreams shape the teen he is to become in this story of happiness found despite all odds.
Based on the true story of a boy in Brooklyn who became neighbors and friends with his hero, Jackie Robinson.
Stephen Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing-the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve. But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It’s 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. Steve knows this is wrong. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before.
Then it happens – Steve’s new neighbor is none other than Jackie Robinson! Steve is beyond excited about living two doors down from the Robinson family. He can’t wait to meet Jackie. This is going to be the best baseball season yet! How many kids ever get to become friends with their hero?
Newbery Honor–winner Joan Bauer’s newest protagonist always sees the positive side of any situation — and readers will cheer him on!
Jeremiah is the world’s biggest baseball fan. He really loves baseball and he knows just about everything there is to know about his favorite sport. So when he’s told he can’t play baseball following an operation on his heart, Jeremiah decides he’ll do the next best thing and become a coach.
Hillcrest, where Jeremiah and his father Walt have just moved, is a town known for its championship baseball team. But Jeremiah finds the town caught up in a scandal and about ready to give up on baseball. It’s up to Jeremiah and his can-do spirit to get the town – and the team – back in the game.
Full of humor, heart, and baseball lore, Soar is Joan Bauer at her best.
From the award-winning author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball.
Twelve-year-old Chinese American Peter Lee and his family always shared a passion for baseball, bonding over backlot games and the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when a devastating tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and Peter’s mom becomes paralyzed by grief, drifting further and further from her family. Hoping to lift his mother’s spirits, Peter decides to try out for Little League. But his plans become suddenly complicated when his strict and serious father volunteers to coach the team. His dad’s unconventional teaching methods rub some of Peter’s teammates the wrong way, and Peter starts to wonder if playing baseball again was the right idea – and if it can even help his family feel less broken. Can the game they all love eventually bring them back together, safe at home?
Acclaimed author Wendy Wan-Long Shang brings her signature warmth, gentle humor, and wisdom to this poignant story of healing and loss, family, and the great American pastime, baseball.
The debut book in the New York Times bestselling Contract series, The Contract is a middle grade baseball novel inspired by the youth of legendary sports icon and role model Derek Jeter.
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball. Derek makes sure he always plays his best game — on and off the baseball field!
Derek Jeter has played Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees for twenty seasons and is a five-time World Series Champion. He is a true legend in professional sports and a role model for young people both on the field and through his Turn 2 Foundation.
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s childhood, The Contract is the first book in Derek Jeter’s middle grade baseball series, an important part of the Jeter Publishing program, which will encompass adult nonfiction titles, children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, Ready-to-Read children’s books, and children’s nonfiction.
Twelve-year-old Casey Snowden knows everything about being an umpire. His dad and grandfather run a New Jersey umpire school, Behind the Plate, and Casey lives and breathes baseball.
Casey’s dream, however, is to be a reporter — objective, impartial, and fair, just like an ump. But when he stumbles upon a sensational story involving a former major league player in exile, he finds that the ethics of publishing it are cloudy at best.
This emotionally charged coming-of-age novel about baseball, divorce, friendship, love, and compassion challenges its readers to consider all the angles before calling that strike.
Happy 100th Birthday, Fenway Park!
“Stats” Pagano may have been born with a heart defect, but he lives for three things: his family’s hot dog stand right outside fabled Fenway Park, his beloved Red Sox, and any baseball statistic imaginable. When the family can no longer make ends meet with the hot dog stand, life becomes worrisome for Stats. Then the Sox go on a long losing streak and the team’s ace pitcher – and Stats’s idol – becomes convinced the famed Curse of the Bambino has returned. Stats just has to help…but how? As the Sox faithful sour on their team, Stats forms a plan that ultimately unifies an entire city and proves that true loyalty has a magic all its own.
In honor of Fenway Park’s 100th birthday, baseball novelist John H. Ritter delivers an inspiring tale for the sports fan in each of us, regardless of team allegiance.
Now leading off the line-up — book #1 in a brand-new early chapter book mystery series where each book is set in a different American ballpark!
Thanks to Kate’s mom, a sports reporter, cousins Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins have tickets to the Red Sox game and All Access passes to Fenway Park. But as they’re watching batting practice before the game, the lucky bat of Red Sox star slugger Big D is stolen…right in front of dozens of people. Without the bat, Big D can’t seem to hit a thing. Can Kate and Mike figure out who pinched the bat before Big D and the Sox chalk up a loss?
From New York Times bestselling author and former NFL player Tim Green comes a baseball book pulsing with action. Baseball Great offers a baseball story attuned to today’s headlines, a totally involving, character-driven, sports-centered thriller. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica.
When the school paper calls him “Grant Middle’s best hope for its first-ever city-wide championship,” Josh feels like he’s starting to get noticed — in good and bad ways. Seeing Josh’s talent, his father drags him out of the school baseball tryouts and gets him in the running for the Titans, the local youth championship team coached by Rocky Valentine.
All Josh really wants to do is play ball, but now Rocky wants him to gulp down protein shakes and other supplements. Suspicious, Josh and his new friend, Jaden, uncover a dangerous secret — and catch the attention of one man who will do anything to keep them from exposing it.
For an eighth grader, Molly Williams has more than her fair share of problems. Her father has just died in a car accident, and her mother has become a withdrawn, quiet version of herself.
Molly doesn’t want to be seen as “Miss Difficulty Overcome”; she wants to make herself known to the kids at school for something other than her father’s death. So she decides to join the baseball team. The boys’ baseball team. Her father taught her how to throw a knuckleball, and Molly hopes it’s enough to impress her coaches as well as her new teammates.
Over the course of one baseball season, Molly must figure out how to redefine her relationships to things she loves, loved, and might love: her mother; her brilliant best friend, Celia; her father; her enigmatic and artistic teammate, Lonnie; and of course, baseball.
Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn’t play baseball — but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players’ statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it’s Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of every inning, but by keeping score she feels she’s more than just a fan: she’s helping her team.
Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments — being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she’s determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.
Even those readers who think they don’t care about baseball will be drawn into the world of the true and ardent fan. Linda Sue Park’s captivating story will, of course, delight those who are already keeping score.
A timeless classic that will enchant readers who love Jennifer L. Holm and Thanhhà Lại, about an immigrant girl inspired by the sport she loves to find her own home team — and to break down any barriers that stand in her way.
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends.
Then a miracle happens: baseball! It’s 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is a superstar. Suddenly Shirley is playing stickball with her class and following Jackie as he leads the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory after victory.
With her hero smashing assumptions and records on the ball field, Shirley begins to feel that America is truly the land of opportunity — and perhaps has also become her real home.