Thursday, April 01, 2010

Baseball Books for Guy Friday

Nicholas D. Kristof has chimed in on the problem with boys and reading, cites the Guys Read web site, and recommends the Hardy Boys books to get boys more interested in reading. All excellent ideas. This article did offer me one epiphany, however-- when I was growing up, I was still being told that girls couldn't do certain stuff. It made me mad. There is a certain vehemence to one's achievement if one is an underdog. Do boys need to harness this? Girls spent thousands of years being told they were inferior. I don't recommend doing this to boys, but will we perhaps see men going into education more to support boys' success? Food for thought, indeed.

For more on the topic of boys' lack of success in school, look into Richard Whitmire's Why Boys Fail feature at Education Week.

On to the lists! I don't have as many boys who like baseball books as there are boys who like football or basketball books, but the following is loyal and determined, at times, to read nothing else. Here is a list of just about every baseball book in my entire library, with the exception of a huge number of Matt Christopher titles. They are very worthwhile, but a better list exists at

Baseball Fiction

Brooks, Bruce. Throwing Smoke

When his teammates on the baseball team continue to lose , Whiz uses an unusual printing press to create several star players in hopes of winning a game.

Cohen, Barbara. Thank you, Jackie Robinson.

A boy who loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and first baseman, Jackie Robinson, takes a ball autographed by Jackie to his friend's death bed.

Corbett, Sue. Free Baseball.

Felix takes advantage of an opportunity to become bat boy for a minor league baseball team, hoping to someday be like his father, a famous Cuban outfielder.

Cox, William Robert. Battery Mates

Two members of a baseball team deal with hostilities from their own teammates, interschool rivalries, romance, and the tensions prior to a championship game.

Deuker, Carl. High Heat

When Shane's father is arrested for money laundering at his Lexus dealership, the star pitcher's life of affluence and private school begins to fall apart.

Deuker, Carl. Painting the Black.

When star athlete Josh moves in across the street, Ryan doesn't realize how much his life will change during his senior year in high school.

Dygard, Thomas. The Rookie Arrives

Ted Bell goes from high school to playing in the major leagues and finds that he has a lot to learn before becoming the world's greatest third baseman.

Farrell, Mame. Bradley and the Billboard

When 13 year old Brad, a baseball hero, gets a job as a fashion model, he must come to terms with his ideas of what it is to be a real guy.

Gault, William Campbell. Trouble at Second.

A young team captain determines that his team will have a championship season despite the problems caused by the new hot-headed rookie.

Gutman, Dan. Honus and Me

Joey, who loves baseball but is not very good at it, finds a valuable 1909 Honus Wagner card and travels back in time to meet Honus.

Green, Tim. Baseball Great.

All Josh wants to do is play baseball but when his father, a minor league pitcher, signs him up for a youth championship team, Josh finds himself embroiled in a situation with potentially illegal consequences.

Lipsyte, Robert. Jock and Jill

Jack Ryder, aspiring baseball star, meets Jillian, a girl who makes him reevaluate all his priorities.

Lord, Bette. In the year of the boar and Jackie Robinson

In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball.

Lupica, Mike. Heat

Michael is on the run from social services after being banned from playing baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve and he has no proof.

Lupica, Mike. The Big Field.

When Hutch feels threatened by the arrival of a new teammate named Darryl, he tries to work through his insecurities about both Darryl and his remote and silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too.

Lynch, Chris. Gold Dust

Richard befriends a Caribbean newcomer to his school, hoping that he will learn to love baseball and win acceptance in the racially polarized Boston school.

Mercado, Nancy. Baseball Crazy

Stories about the love of baseball, fear of baseball, and everything in between.

Patneaude, David. Haunting at Third.

After hearing that their baseball field is haunted, Nelson and his teammates start finding messages written in the dirt.

Rallison, Jannette. Playing the Field

McKay tries to keep up his algebra grade to stay on the baseball team, while dealing with his attraction to a girl named Serena.

Ritter, John H. The Boy Who Saved Baseball

The owner of a good part of Dillontown and its baseball field decides to sell.

Rud, Jeff. High and Inside.

Twelve-year-old Matt must learn to face a high and inside pitch while dealing with allegiances to friends and doing the right thing.

Slote, Alfred. Hang Tough, Paul Mather

A baseball pitcher with an incurable blood disease is determined to get in as much time on the mound as possible.

Smith, Robert Kimmel. Bobby Baseball

Bobby wants to pitch, but his coach puts him on second base instead.

Stolz, Mary. Coco Grimes.

Thomas talks his grandfather into driving to meet Coco Grimes, who remembers Negro League baseball, but the actual encounter proves to be bittersweet.

Tooke, Wes. Lucky

Louis sees his opportunity to be bat boy for the 1961 Yankees team as the perfect way to escape the problems of his father's remarriage and moving to the suburbs.

Tunis, John. World Series

Roy Tucker joins the rest of his Dodger teammates in a come-from-behind battle for the series title.

Wallace, Rich. Southpaw.

After moving following his parents' divorce, Jimmy Fleming tries out for the baseball team while also trying cope with his new life and dealing with his father.

Weaver, Will. Striking Out

Since the death of his brother Billy Baggs has had a distant relationship with his father, but life on their farm in begins to change when he starts to play baseball.

Zinnen, Linda. Holding At Third

When Matt's brother moves to a different hospital to receive cancer treatment, Matt tries to adjust to a new home, school, and new baseball team.

Zirpoli, Jane. Roots in the Outfield

Criticized by his baseball teammates for being afraid of the ball, Josh goes to live with his father in Milwaukee where he becomes entangled in a mystery.


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