Monday, March 28, 2016

Baseball Pick: The Kid From Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton

The Kid From Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton
by Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Clarion Books
40 pages
ISBN: 9780544611634

What Reviewers are Saying:

    "An engaging story that reminds readers that “baseball isn’t just numbers and statistics, men and boys. Baseball is also ten-year-old girls, marching across a city to try out for a team intended for players twice their age."
–Horn Book

"Salerno's illustrations, variously rendered in charcoal, ink, and gouache, as well as digital color, lovingly evoke the time period and the settings. Much fascinating information about Edith's long and adventurous life is added in an author's note. A forgotten star shines anew."
–Kirkus Reviews

"[The Kid from Diamond Street] should especially appeal to those who enjoyed Vernick and Salerno’s Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team. The compelling story and energetic illustrations make this an excellent addition."
–School Library Journal

"Salerno’s mixed-media illustrations are a lively amalgam of action and scenic panorama..."

"Choice quotations from [Edith] Houghton bring her personality and love of baseball to vivid life, while Salerno’s mixed-media artwork channels the footloose energy of the Jazz Age..."
–Publishers Weekly

"This timely message about playing simply for the love of the game, as opposed to personal glory or celebrity, comes through loud and clear."

My Review:
Fascinating, full of facts, well researched, easy to read and understand, and entertaining this story of a girl who dared to love the game of baseball and break that "grass" ceiling gaining access into an all male sport is an incredible read and fine addition to any sports section or women's section of your collection and is a must read for sports fans and all young girls.  
In the early 20th century, baseball was an all male sport, but that didn't stop ten year Edith from joining the neighborhood games with her brothers and loving the sport. Edith didn't care that girls weren't allowed to play, she loved the game and would do anything to play. When Edith heard that there was a professional women's team being formed in her hometown of Philadelphia, she tried out for the team. Although only ten years old, Edith outperformed other players. She was added to the team roster as shortstop and played with the Philadelphia Bobbies. The team played in Philadelphia and as far away as Virginia, but Edith didn't care where they played, as long as she could play.
Edith's father was so proud. The press was constantly writing about the Bobbies and the talented "kid." By 1925, the team had gained international attention and they were invited to play against a men's team in Japan--halfway around the world! The team set off by train from Philadelphia to Washington, playing men's teams along the way. They boarded a ship in Seattle and set off for Japan. Talk about culture shock! This was Japan in 1925. Kimonos were worn daily and people traveled by rickshaw. The Bobbies played teams all across Japan for two months, becoming quite famous.
They finally arrived home, and Edith continued her love of the game, playing for other teams and later becoming a major league scout for the Philadelphia Phillies, where owner Bob Carpenter was amazed by her encyclopedic knowledge of the game and players. Edith's jersey and cap from her Japan games are displayed in the Baseball Hall of Fame in the Diamond Dreams exhibit.
Mixed media art by Steven Salerno captures the era and the game. Ten year old Edith on the cover captivates  as she rests on the bat, glove in hand, suitcase with travel stickers at her feet. Edith has what my grandmother used to call, "gumption," and that's the finest compliment anyone can receive.
Highly, highly recommended for all collections, sports and otherwise. Early readers-grade 4 and up, and sports fans of all ages.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.


  1. Sandy
    El Paso, TX

  2. This book would be great for my library.

    Anthony, TX