April 17, 2012

Favorite Baseball Books

Spring is here and baseball season has begun! 
Some of my all-time favorite books to read aloud in the classroom are baseball stories.  I started collecting books here and there and suddenly realized I had a pretty large collection and I read them to my class EVERY year. My kids love them. They are captivated by them.  They are inspired by the heroes in the stories.  They always spark great conversation and lead to good thinking while reading. 
(Yay for metacognition!) Here are some of my favorites:

Teammates is the story of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.  
I usually read this story aloud and then we read a non-fiction article about Jackie Robinson for the students to compare and contrast the two stories.

 Mighty Jackie played in Chattanooga. She struck out some of the best baseball players in baseball including Babe Ruth, but was asked to leave the major leagues because she was a woman.

Roberto Clemente... what a role model! Enough said.

It is a beautiful story about Babe Ruth, but also a great mentor text.  
The poetic text has great word choice and description.
Set during WWII, Baseball Saved Us  follows the Japanese Americans that were put in an internment camp and shows how baseball helps one father and son make the best of a difficult situation.

This showcases the amazing perseverance of Lou Gehrig.

 I'm a huge fan of the movie A League of Their Own, so I just adore this book.  
Mama Played Baseball tells the story of a young woman who has to get a job when her husband goes away to war, so she starts playing ball.

A great historical story about two boys during the great depression that don't have a lot,
 but they do have Babe Ruth.

Ahh, America's pastime...one of the best sports and some of the most inspiring stories.  I'm sure there are many other great baseball books. Please share if you have a favorite.  I'd love to add to my collection.

"Find something you love, and go after it, with all of your heart." ~ Jim Abbott

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." ~ Jackie Robinson

"Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth." ~ Roberto Clemente


  1. I love all of your read-alouds! I am going to send the link to your post to my librarian to see if we have any of these books available at our school library. I love your idea about reading the book Teammates and then reading a non-fiction article on Jackie Robinson and comparing and contrasting it. Where did you get the non-fiction article?

    To your post on my blog, I would begin using Edmodo with your students to post polls or journal topics for the day. That is how I started. If you join the language arts community on Edmodo, you can ask for pen pals. You should get at least 2 to 3 teachers that are interested. Then you can create a group send the code to the teacher and let your kids write to the other students.


  2. i love 'the bat boy and his violin.' fiction, but amazing.

    1. Oh yay! I will have to check that one out. Thanks, Amanda

    2. I also love "The Bat Boy and His Violin"! Great book for inferring about characters and dealing with social issues.

  3. One poem I have used is 'Casey at the Bat' by Ernest Thayer. It's an old poem but the illustrations are excellent and show authentic baseball tickets. The kids love it especially the ones who say right up front that they don't like poetry :)

  4. Another book your students might like is 'Mickey and Me' it is about Mickey Maguire, she is an All American Girls League player. The women from those teams are amazing. I have had the honor of meeting some of these women and sharing their story with my students is lets their legacy continue.

  5. Have you seen "We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro Leagues" by Kadir Nelson. It is an award winning book with especially AWESOME illustrations. Kadir Nelson is the BOMB illustrator.

    1. I haven't seen that book, but I am googling it now. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Amanda, Thank you for your blog! I have enjoyed reading and perhaps "borrowing"! It is easy to read through and I love your links to other posts within your blog. (It kept me here for a while.)

    I love the book, Teammates, too. One of my favorite discoveries is the poetry book Extra Innings by Lee Bennett Hopkins. It has a poem "From Teammates" which uses the exact wording from the end of the book, just formats it like a poem. It is a powerful lesson to help students pay attention to the poetry within prose. We discuss how it makes the reader slow down and pay attention differently. I hope you can find it and take a look, as it would enrich your wonderful lesson.

    Thanks again!


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