Really? You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99) The down-home, familiar voice of this new book’s narrator gives the reader the impression that he is sitting next to an old baseball fan, munching on Cracker Jacks at the local ballpark. Jonah Winter tells Willie Mays’ extraordinary story, from his humble Birmingham childhood to his awesome career as centerfielder for the San Francisco Giants. Terry Widener’s surreal illustrations are particularly engaging and capture the angst and glory of Mays’ unparalleled career. Winters includes statistics on Mays and other baseball figures, which add interest and depth to this winning biography for baseball fans both young and not-so-young. Ages 7-10. RBB
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! Cover Image
By Jonah Winter, Terry Widener (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780375868443
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Schwartz & Wade Books - January 8th, 2013

Surprisingly, Jackie and Me: A Very Special Friendship (Sky Pony Press, $16.95) is not about prejudice in the Major Leagues or even baseball. It is about the kindness and understanding Jackie Robinson showed author Tania Grossinger, who struggled to feel accepted growing up at her cousins’ famous resort in the Catskills of New York. Acutely aware of how it felt to be excluded, Jackie initially befriended this lonely girl during a ping-pong game and, over the next twenty years, helped her gain self-confidence and a sense of worth. Charles George Esperanza’s illustrations add a unique poignancy to this true story of a cherished friendship. Ages 5-9. RBB
Jackie and Me: A Very Special Friendship Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781620876831
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Sky Pony - April 8th, 2013

James Naismith never wanted to teach gym class—he only started doing so at his college in 1891 because no one else was available. The world is lucky he did, though, because it was there that he invented the game of basketball. After trying unsuccessfully to play games indoors that both wore out his group of rowdy boys and kept them mentally engaged, James decided to come up with one of his own. The Hoop Genius (Carolrhoda, $16.95) finally developed a game everyone loved after he recalled games he played as a child and constructed the first basketball hoops out of peach baskets. John Coy’s delightful story about the importance of creativity and invention is well paired with Joe Morse’s bold illustrations. Ages 6-9. AJK
Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball Cover Image
By John Coy, Joe Morse (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780761366171
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Carolrhoda Books (R) - January 1st, 2013

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