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THE UNFORGETTABLE SEASON by Phil Bildner Kirkus Star


The Story of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the Record-Setting Summer of '41

by Phil Bildner, illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Age Range: 6 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25501-4
Publisher: Putnam

One of the joys of baseball is its intergenerational appeal. Parents and grandparents pass on tales of special games and players, and today’s young fans will do the same; thus, the heroes of the past and their exploits live on. The 1941 season was especially memorable because of the amazing accomplishments of two of the greatest players of all time. That was the year the Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games and Boston’s Ted Williams had a season batting average of .406. Alternating between the two stories, Bildner narrates the tale with breathless enthusiasm, capturing the excitement that swept the nation, while cleverly incorporating facts, statistics, highlights of the games and insights into the players’ personalities. Modern fans are reminded of more recent players who attempted to break these records and of other records already shattered (Barry Bonds is conspicuously absent from the discussion of the lifetime homerun record). Schindler’s soft, detailed ink, watercolor and gouache illustrations perfectly complement the text as they capture the mood and time period along with the action. Will there ever be such a season again? Wait ’til next year. Batter up! (Picture book. 6-12)