For Young Readers: Here's the pitch for baseball books

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The Major League Baseball season is well under way. Here are some books that bring out all the excitement and beauty of the game:

"The Super Sluggers: Rainmaker" by Kevin Markey. Age 8 and up. $16.

In the latest Super Sluggers book, it's the Rambletown Rounders' last season playing together, and they're the defending champs, which should mean that they're riding high. But the Rounders' ace pitcher is trying to learn to throw the forkball, a pitch no kid should be using. Plus, many of their games have been rained out. The team's rafting trip seems like just what everybody needs, that is, until a flash flood and a ghost story come into the picture.

"King of the Mound: My Summer With Satchel Paige" by Wes Tooke. Age 8 and up. $16.

Twelve-year-old Nick is on his way to becoming a real baseball star. It's the 1930s, and he is the boy with the golden arm. But then he gets sick with a disease called polio, which affects his muscles. Many of the adults around Nick, including his dad, think that Nick's dreams of baseball are over. Then he gets the chance to work out with Satchel Paige, who knows about the need to overcome obstacles. You see, Paige is black, and because of that he's not allowed to play in the major leagues.

"There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived" by Matt Tavares. Age 6 and up. $17.

Kids will especially like that this wonderful picture book (Mr. Tavares wrote the words and drew the pictures) spends a lot of time talking about the childhood of the famous Boston Red Sox slugger. As a boy, more than anything in the world Ted Williams wanted to play baseball. But he did more than dream. He was teased on the playground because he was skinny. So Williams worked out to build his muscles (doing push-ups on his fingertips) and he ate a lot to gain weight. And he practiced his swing using a rolled-up newspaper! How Williams grew up to be "the greatest hitter who ever lived" is an exciting and inspiring story.


First Published May 14, 2012 12:00 AM


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