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Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Terry Widener

Published by An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2003
32 pages
ISBN: 0-689-83300-8

Ages 5 - 9

"I must have been born to play baseball," says the young narrator of this story based on the life of Alta Weiss, a young woman who grew up early in the 20th century and pitched ball for a semi-pro team in Ohio at the age of 17. In a friendly, folksy narrative, Alta's passion and enthusiasm for pitching and her love of the game from the time she was a small child shine. When she approaches the coach of the Vermilion Independent's and asks for a chance to play, "the Independent's crusty old coach took one look at my long, blue skirt, he spit hard on the ground. 'Go home, missy. You're a girl--and this is baseball." But Alta wasn't' about to give up. When she convinces the coach to give her a chance she becomes a wild success, not only winning games but drawing in crowds. It wasn't the only time in her life that Alta would break down barriers. She went on to attend medical school, where she was the only girl in her class. There is a photograph of the real Alta Weiss On the back cover of this winning picture book. She is posed to release the ball, with a look of serious intent that makes it clear there is little that could stand in this young woman's way. CCBC Categories: Biography and Autobiography.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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