Brothers At Bat

The True Story of 
An Amazing All-Brothers Baseball Team

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 
hosted today by The Swimmer Writer

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
(pub. 4.3.2012) 40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Audrey Vernick
     and Illustrator:  Steven Salerno

haracters: The Acerra brothers 

O verview from the jacket flap: 

       "12 Brothers
         1 Baseball
         The Acerra family had sixteen children. Twelve of them were boys, and they all played baseball.
         It was the 1930s, and many families had lots of kids. But only one had enough to field a baseball team ... with three on the bench!
         The Acerras loved the game, but more important, they cared for and supported one another and stayed together as a team. Nothing life threw their way could stop them.
         This is their amazing story." 

T antalizing taste: 

        "In 1997, the Baseball Hall of Fame held a special ceremony to honor them ... After such a thrilling day, you could picture them driving off into the sunset, happily ever after.
        But their bus broke down.
        They could have sat on the curb, grumbling in the summer heat. But someone found a bat and a ball, and as three generations of Acerras waited for a new bus, they played ball.
        That ball soared from grandfather to granddaughter, from father to son.
        From brother to brother."         

and something more: I'm enamored by this wonderful new picture book biography, Brothers at Bat, by Audrey Vernick with "period illustrations" by Steven Salerno. Reading it reminded me of warm summer evenings watching baseball games with my dad. We would pull the TV out into the backyard and stretch out on lounge chairs. I also went to oodles of my brother's baseball games who pitched through high school and college.
        I like that although the text explains that "the [Acerra] sisters didn't play [because back] then, most people thought sports were just for boys," the illustration shows a sister pitching a mean fastball with a ball of yarn to another sister, poised at a dustpan/home plate, ready to swing her broom in hand.  And the Author's note ends with a quote, from a daughter of one of the players, saying, "We were all raised to be team players, no matter what situation we were in - at work, at play, at war, in relationships - you carry that spirit with you. And it's part of you. That spirit was inspired in everyone who knew the Acerra brothers."  And now that circle of influence (or should I say "diamond" of influence) has expanded to us, the lucky readers.  It's a grand slam!


shelf-employed said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one. Audrey Vernick is a real baseball fan, also writing She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story. I get the feeling that she's spent her share of time in Cooperstown!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes! She even spoke "to a standing-room-only crowd of baseball lovers" at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown last month as part of the hall's Sibling Day festivities!

Books4Learning said...

Sounds like a wonderful story! Nice review!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Oooh! So nice! I haven't read a lot of sports-themed books this year, this looks like a great way to start along with the Basketball Belles I saw last week in Nonfiction Monday. Truth be told, my to be read stack is getting longer and longer! Thanks for sharing this Jeanne.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by! I think you'll both enjoy it. Yes, I know what you mean about that stack of books ... but then what could be better?!