Holy cow! It is high; it is far; it is gone! A game winner.



From the Spectacular Sports series

A home run is possibly the most exciting event in baseball.

The long ball in the modern era of baseball, from 1900 to the present, has had an uneven history. In the early days “small ball”—scoring by moving players one base at a time—was the norm, and home runs were a novelty. Babe Ruth’s mastery of the home run was unarguably the catalyst of today’s power game. Since then there have been many great players who have proven to be Ruth-ian in their home-run prowess, including some who were not given a fair chance due to the segregation of the leagues and, sadly, some who have broken the fans’ faith in the game. In five cogent chapters Doeden tells the home-run story from a historical perspective, dissecting its physical mechanics, celebrating and recording its heroes, and making predictions for the future. The players of the Negro Leagues who paved the way for Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron and so many more are not forgotten here. Doeden brings life to statistics and history, providing facts and debunking some myths in a straightforward, conversational tone that never condescends. Well-selected archival photos perfectly enhance and amplify the material. The author seems awed by the record-breaking number of home runs hit in 2019. Who could have known that the 2020 baseball season would be truncated, silent, and oh so strange? Young fans and their grown-ups will find much to admire and discuss.

Holy cow! It is high; it is far; it is gone! A game winner. (records, glossary, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-7284-1716-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...



Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...



A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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