Dirt on Their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women Who Won the World Championship

Doreen Rappaport, Author, Lyndall Callan, Author, Toby Sherry, Editor Dial Books $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2042-8
Drawing on written accounts and interviews with former players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Rappaport (paired with Lewis for The New King) and Callan (a playwright) whisk readers back in time to the 1946 championship game between the Rockford Peaches and the Racine Belles. Judiciously using endmatter to relate a historical overview of the league, the authors serve up a fan's view of the game, placing a young spectator named Margaret and her family at the center of the action. ""You have to be tough to play baseball in a skirt,"" Margaret's mother says, and it's easy to see why as Sophie ""the Flash"" Kurys and Betty ""Moe"" Trezza take the field, scraped knees and all. The final inning unfolds play by play, in potent and colorful language. Margaret, for example, notes that the Belles' victory ""felt like the last day of school, the Fourth of July, the end of the War."" Lewis's fluid, assured watercolors capture the on-field energy as well as the humanity of the players and their fans. Well wrought in every regard, this is a nifty introduction to one of baseball's shining moments and to the contributions of a group of outstanding female athletes in particular. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
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