Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: The Baseball Edition

Each year, I try to do on baseball post.  This year I have been waiting semi-patiently for Audrey Vernick's new book, The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton. My idea was to combine a baseball post with a Women's History post. The challenge: Would I be able to find a copy of the book on release day in order to be able to read and post it for the last Wednesday of Women's History month? Thank you to Vroman's Bookstore for having a copy of the book in-store on release day. 

Here are the links to my previous baseball posts: 2015 | 20142013 | 2013 | 20132012 

The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton
by Audrey Vernick; Illustrated by Steve Salerno
Clarion Books (March 29, 2016)
Nonfiction * Biography * Baseball * Women in Sports
Audience: Ages 7 to 10 years old
Indiebound | WorldCat

Description from GoodReads
Audrey Vernick and Steven Salerno have again collaborated to bring us a captivating picture book about a compelling but little-known piece of baseball history. Beginning in 1922, when Edith Houghton was only ten years old, she tried out for a women’s professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Bobbies. Though she was the smallest on the field, soon reporters were talking about “The Kid” and her incredible skill, and crowds were packing the stands to see her play. Her story reminds us that baseball has never been about just men and boys. Baseball is also about talented girls willing to work hard to play any way they can.

My thoughts on the book:
The creative team of Vernick and Salerno are back with another wonderful biography featuring a less commonly known player, Edith Houghton. 

Edith was all of ten years old when she decided to try out for a local women's baseball team. Though small in stature, and in spite of her age, Edith made the team and played against local men's teams in the Pennsylvania vicinity.  Three years after joining the team, and only age 13, Edith went on a trip with the Philadelphia Bobbies to Japan to play baseball. 

Maybe because I have a fondness for baseball or maybe because I really enjoy Vernick's biographies, or maybe a little of both, I was excited to learn of this book. It immediately went on my highly anticipating book list. I love learning about women athletes and how they excelled at a sport that was dominated by men. I wonder what it would have been like to play on the same team and to travel with them?  Can you imagine being 13 in the 1920's and barnstorming across the country playing baseball and then sailing across the ocean to Japan to play ball in a foreign country? This isn't like present day. No cell phones or internet or easy communication with families. Travel to another country took weeks and months. The average person stayed close to home. Yet, a young girl with a dream to play ball did much more than play a man's sport. 

May every girl grow up to dream big dreams and dare to do the unexpected and live to be nearly 101 years old. 

Check out this video of Edith Houghton on her 100th Birthday

More books about Women and Baseball:

Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story by Emily Arnold McCully (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015)

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick; Illustrated by Don Tate (Balzer & Bray, 2010)

Mighty Jackie: The Strikeout Queen by Marissa Moss; Illustrated by C.F. Payne (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey; Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Scholastic, 2003)

Check out these and other titles at your local library or independent bookstore.

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews