Inspired by the life of pioneering female baseball player Alta Weiss, and dramatized by Terry Widener’s bold illustrations, Girl Wonder tells the unforgettable story of a true American original.
Alta Weiss was born to play baseball, simple as that. From the age of two, when she hurls a corncob at a pesky tomcat, folks in her small Ohio town know one thing for sure: She may be a girl, but she’s got some arm.
When she’s seventeen, Alta hears about a semipro team, the Independents. Here’s her big chance! But one look at Alta’s long skirts tells Coach all he needs to know—girls can’t play baseball! But faster than you can say “strike out,” Alta proves him wrong: Girls can play baseball!
About the Author
Deborah Hopkinson is the author of numerous award-winning children's books, including Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, winner of the International Reading Association Award, Girl Wonder, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award, and Apples to Oregon, a Junior Library Guild Selection. She received the 2003 Washington State Book Award for Under the Quilt for the Night. She lives in Oregon. Visit her onlinw at DeborahHopkinson.com.
Terry Widener is an award-winning illustrator whose picture books include Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man by David A. Adler, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, and America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, also by David A. Adler, a Junior Library Guild Selection. He is also the illustrator of Peg and the Whale by Kenneth Oppel and If the Shoe Fit by Gary Soto. Mr. Widener lives with his wife and three children in McKinney, Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the retelling of the story of the famous baseball player Alta Weiss who pitch for a semi-pro baseball team in 1907. Although it is fiction, the reader learns about Alta Weiss struggles as a female athlete. It would be a good book to use for a history lesson in famous women, and women who have achieved greatness against all odds.
Alta Weiss threw her first pitch at the age of two, when she hurled a corn cob at a tomcat chasing her favorite chicken. Later, she trained all year, even throwing practice pitches in the barn in the dead of winter, while the cows stood by and watched. Later, she became the first woman to play semi-pro baseball when she convinced the coach of the Ohio Independents to give her a try. In Deborah Hopkinson¿s retelling of the true story in ¿Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings¿ readers get to know what it was like to be a woman at the turn of the century trying to break into a male-dominated industry. The plot is a bit bland, as so many ¿true stories¿ tend to be when they stay close to home, but Hopkinson makes up for it in beautiful imagery and metaphor, ¿¿the glove on my hand as big as one of Mama¿s prize sunflowers.¿ p. 4). Illustrator Terry Widener¿s acrylic paint drawings are reminiscent of some of Picasso¿s later work, with rounded lines and figures with piece-meal facial features, giving the book¿s imagery a strong base. The book¿s introduction includes suggestions for more reading on Alta Weiss and a website readers can check out and at the back, a timeline is included that details dates of other famous women in semi-pro and minor league baseball. Recommended for readers ages 6-10.
This biographical picture book tells the story of Alta Weiss a pioneering female baseball player that convinces a coach to let her play and pitch for a semipro all male team the Vermilion Independents and becomes a celebrity.