In honor of the Rockies winning their home opener yesterday, here are some books about baseball. If you can’t make it to the ballpark, you’ll still hear the crack of the bat, thud of ball in glove and the roar of the crowd with these titles!
Grade levels are suggestions. Every kid is different. Follow their lead.
Take Me Out to the Yakyu, written and illustrated by Aaron Meshon
PreK – 1st grade
A little boy describes enjoying baseball with his American Pop Pop and yakyu with his Japanese Ji Ji. Includes fun comparisons of everything from snacks and souvenirs to cheers and transportation.
Baseball Hour by Carol Nevius, illustrated by Bill Thomson
K – 2nd grade
Rhythmic, rhyming text takes the reader through an hour of baseball practice. Thomson’s dynamic, photorealistic illustrations showcase the players’ skills and spirit.
Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Steven Salerno
K – 3rd grade
The Acerra family hailed from Long Branch, NJ and formed a semiprofessional baseball team in 1938 made up 12 brothers. The delightful retro illustrations are a perfect compliment to this family story.
Mighty Jackie: The Strikeout Queen by Marissa Moss, illustrated by C.F. Payne
K – 3rd grade
The amazing true story of Chattanooga Lookout pitcher Jackie Mitchell who struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back in 1931.
Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
K – 3rd grade
Did you know the original verses of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” are from the perspective of Katie Casey who was “baseball mad / Had the fever and had it bad”? Inspired by the film, A League of Their Own, this is the fictional story of Katie Casey and her participation in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
3rd – 8th grade
Narrated from the perspective of a former ball player, the reader is taken through a history of the Negro Leagues and the stories of great players such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. Nelson’s illustrations, portraits and ballpark landscapes, are the final grand slam.
Baseball Card Adventures series by Dan Gutman
4th – 7th grade
Mix together elements from fantasy, historical fiction and sports adventure stories and the result is Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure series. By touching certain baseball cards, 12-year-old Joe is able to time travel throughout baseball history.
All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg
6th – 8th grade
The son of a Vietnamese woman and a U.S. soldier, 12-year-old Matt struggles to adjust to life with his new adoptive family in the United States. He becomes a star pitcher on his school baseball team, but still faces bullying from classmates. This historical novel-in-verse is a powerful story of loss and healing.
Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña
9th - 12th grade
The streets and ball fields of National City, CA serve as the backdrop for this coming-of-age novel. More than a baseball story, de la Peña offers a moving glimpse into the friendships and emotional lives of teen boys.