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MIGHTY JACKIE by Marissa Moss


The Strike-Out Queen

by Marissa Moss & illustrated by C.F. Payne

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-86329-2
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Unlike most girls, Jackie Mitchell was encouraged to play baseball. Under the tutelage of her father and major-league pitcher Dazzy Vance and with endless practice and hard work, she became a formidable pitcher. In a 1931 exhibition game in Tennessee, she struck out superstars Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Although Moss provides a pitch-by-pitch description of the strikeouts, she leaves a lot of holes in the overall story. In an author’s note, she does give some additional information about Jackie’s later career, including an interesting bit about being banned from professional baseball, because “it is too strenuous for women.” It’s a pity that none of this is included in the body of the work—though treated as a vignette, it’s fascinating. Payne’s illustrations are delightful, depicting both Ruth and Gehrig accurately and adding a sense of fun to the proceedings, while maintaining the drama. Intriguing, but inadequate. (bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)