In the spirit of teamwork, Frank Nappi and I came up with our favorite Top 10 Baseball Books for Kids. We are also giving away his book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler.
It’s baseball season in Boston and that can only mean the Red Sox and checking the schedule to see when the home games are because traffic is brutal in the Fenway on game days.
My kids chuckle to see adults pouring off the subway decked out in Red Sox gear, happy and giddy as kids on their way to a game. But that’s the beauty of baseball games. It makes everyone young again.
Win, lose or draw, you can aways count on the food at Fenway Park, Sweet Caroline at the seventh inning stretch, and the history of the stadium to seep in to give you an experience that says a perfect Boston day!
How about you? Who are you rooting for?
Top 10: Baseball Chapter Books for Kids
10. The Only Game by Mike Lupica
Much to his parents’ surprise, Jack Callahan decides to quit baseball, even though he’s the best player on his team. Jack just hasn’t been the same since his older brother was killed in an accident. Touching story about how the game saves him. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
9. The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi
“Riveting. Rewarding. THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER reaches the heart the way Alex Rodriguez reaches the bleachers.” – Bill Madden, New York Daily News
17 year old Mickey Tussler has a golden arm so when Arthur Murphy discovers the boy he is certain he has found his next ace. But Mickey’s Asperger’s poses a real challenge for everyone now that the boy has become a minor league baseball celebrity. Wonderful lessons in tolerance, love and friendship. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
8. The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John Ritter
This novel goes beyond the usual baseball story by introducing the deeper issue of big developers encroaching upon nature and small-town life in rural California. Baseball is used here again to teach larger issues. Excellent characters. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
7. The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggot
An unexpected baseball chapter book that combines time travel fantasy with the Red Sox curse. Such a beautifully written book draws the reader into this adventure. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
6. The Pitcher by William Hazelgrove
Ricky Hernandez, 13, can hurl a 75-miles-per-hour fastball but has trouble controlling it. He also has trouble with life as a kid being raised by a single mother who is suffering from lupus. Ricky also battles bullies over his Mexican heritage. Story of hope and determination. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
5. New Kid by Tim Green
Tommy’s the new kid in town, like he’s been so many times before and he’s having a hard time fitting in, especially when his new friend is the bully from the wrong side of the tracks. Great story about peer pressure and finding one’s way. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
4. Brooklyn Bat Boy: A Story of the 1947 Season That Changed Baseball Forever by Geoff Griffin
Bobby Kelly is the batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers the year that they sign Jackie Robinson. His job is to help Jackie, the same as the other players, and he has to accept the idea of having an African-American play for his beloved team. As he gets to know Jackie, though, he grows to respect him, as a player, and as a person. The first season is a pivotal one for the Dodgers and Bobby begins to realize the uphill fight that Jackie Robinson faces, from the taunting in the stands, to the death threats. This is a perfect chapter book for kids who love baseball and are learning about The Civil Rights Movement. History has never felt so real! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
For another great book to accompany Brooklyn Bat Boy, try You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Waterford. This is a novel is verse about the Jackie Robinson of aviation during WWII.
3. One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard
Everybody loves an underdog story. One Shot at Forever provides all of the nail-biting excitement characteristic of the David and Goliath tales of the sports world. Uplifting. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
2. Heart of a Champion by Carl Deuker
Baseball is a wonderful metaphor for life in this thought-provoking testimonial to friendship and parental love. Great action and message. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
1. Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
Imagine living in a small rural town where it rains every single day. This freaky weather condition is attributed to an old Native American curse, dating two decades ago when a baseball rivalry with a neighboring town went very wrong. Roy can deal with the weather but when he returns from baseball camp, he finds a foster kid on his living room couch. This is the summer when things change: Roy’s relationship with his dad, a rematch with that rival town, and a remarkable new weather pattern. Is baseball really the secret to fixing everything that is wrong? [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
More Baseball Book Lists
Great Books for Reluctant Readers by Author David A. Kelly (of Ballpark Mystery series)
My List of Lists: Sports Specific Book Lists for Kids (which includes baseball, basketball, hockey, martial arts and dance — yes, dance is a sport!)
The Legend of Mickey Tussler GIVEAWAY
To win a copy of the book, please fill out the Rafflecopter below.
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty five years. His debut novel, ECHOES FROM THE INFANTRY, received national attention, including MWSA’s silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story “A Mile in His Shoes” starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Nappi continues to produce quality work, including SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the thriller, NOBODY HAS TO KNOW, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. The third installment of Nappi’s Mickey Tussler series, WELCOME TO THE SHOW, was released April 2016. He is currently at work on his next thriller, AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE. Nappi lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
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