A forgotten star shines anew.

READ REVIEW

THE KID FROM DIAMOND STREET

THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF BASEBALL LEGEND EDITH HOUGHTON

A remarkable young woman plays baseball with tremendous skill in the early days of the 20th century.

From the time she was a very young girl, Edith Houghton was an incredibly talented and dedicated player on the local Philadelphia sandlots, where she was valued by her male counterparts. When the Philadelphia Bobbies, an all-female (and all-white) professional team of young women, held tryouts, she made the team even though she was only 10 years old. Wearing a uniform that was so large that it had to be pinned and rolled up, she nevertheless proved herself on the field and at bat. Playing mostly against men’s teams, the Bobbies first barnstormed locally and then through the American West and on to Japan. Throughout it all, large, admiring crowds and the press had nothing but praise for Edith. Vernick offers plenty of details about Edith’s life on the baseball circuit, telling the tale in a conversational tone that brings the events to life and indicating that the concept of women playing alongside and against men was, if not common, perfectly acceptable. Salerno’s illustrations, variously rendered in charcoal, ink, and gouache, as well as digital color, lovingly evoke the time period and the settings. Much fascinating information about Edith’s long and adventurous life is added in an author’s note.

A forgotten star shines anew. (author’s note, photographs) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-61163-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization.

A PLACE FOR PLUTO

If Pluto can’t be a planet—then what is he?

Having been a regular planet for “the better part of forever,” Pluto is understandably knocked out of orbit by his sudden exclusion. With Charon and his four other moons in tow he sets off in search of a new identity. Unfortunately, that only spins him into further gloom, as he doesn’t have a tail like his friend Halley’s comet, is too big to join Ida and the other asteroids, and feels disinclined to try to crash into Earth like meteoroids Gem and Persi. Then, just as he’s about to plunge into a black hole of despair, an encounter with a whole quartet of kindred spheroids led by Eris rocks his world…and a follow-up surprise party thrown by an apologetic Saturn (“Dwarf planet has a nice RING to it”) and the other seven former colleagues literally puts him “over the moon.” Demmer gives all the heavenly bodies big eyes (some, including the feminine Saturn, with long lashes) and, on occasion, short arms along with distinctive identifying colors or markings. Dressing the troublemaking meteoroids in do-rags and sunglasses sounds an off note. Without mentioning that the reclassification is still controversial, Wade closes with a (somewhat) straighter account of Pluto’s current official status and the reasons for it.

Make space for this clever blend of science and self-realization. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68446-004-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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