1957 is the year that Frisbees soared, postage stamps cost three cents, and the Russians launched Sputnik.  It was also a time when women were typically kitchen-bound and wore skirts and aprons.  However, Kathleen Curie Gordon’s mom is not a Betty Crocker mom; she’s a professor of nuclear chemistry.  With a woman who resists convention as a mom and two older sisters playing from that same playbook, ten-year-old Katy, the protagonist in Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages, has learned to keep asking questions and to never settle for being ordinary. And Katy, who is more comfortable in cleats and a ball cap, isRead More →

Upheaval.  That one word sums up Josh LeBlanc’s life.  His father, a minor league baseball player turned coach, has accepted a job with Crosby College in Florida.  Gary LeBlanc hopes to turn Crosby into a training ground for the majors, but Josh isn’t happy because the job means he will be leaving behind his home in Syracuse, New York; his team, the Syracuse Titans; and his friends.   He’ll also be saying goodbye to any hopes that his mother and father will get back together since his mother and baby sister Laurel aren’t planning to move.  On the trip south, thirteen-year-old Josh is overcome by sadness, worry,Read More →

Written by daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson, recounts the historical fiction tale of tumultuous times of global, racial, cultural, and religious unrest in the late 1940s.  Because of its inspirational message about the need to depend on faith, family, and friends during the worst of times, contemporary readers will find this story of friendship and unity especially relevant as Martin Luther King, Junior’s 87th birthday approaches. In 1948, Steven Satlow is eight years old, and a train ride to Ebbets Field costs five cents each way.  Because Steve is the shortest kid in his class andRead More →

Twelve year old Peter Lee and his family are avid baseball fans. Even his strict Chinese immigrant father Ba -who has Peter do homework on the way to games- has some regard for the sport. However, once tragedy strikes, and takes with it a cherished loved one, no one talks about baseball anymore. Peter’s mom stops talking altogether. Convinced that what brought them together before can keep them together now, Peter joins a Little League team. The only problem? The league is short one coach. Ba steps in to seemingly save the day, but his methods rub Peter and his teammates the wrong way. Now whatRead More →

Ok, I am so glad to be a vegetarian.  All those terrible things that I could imagine happening at massive feedlots, huge industrial slaughterhouses, and behind the guise of corporate “farming”, happen in Paolo Bacigalupi’s nightmarish comedy Zombie Baseball Beatdown.  Milrow Meat Solutions processes enough beef to feed people in seven states, which means acres and acres of cows packed into feedlots in filth and excrement up to their bellies, a plant the size of a small city that employs vast quantities of undocumented workers who, for 24 hours a day, race to process thousands upon thousands of cuts of beef, and a research andRead More →