Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator:  Terry Widener 
Historical Fiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2003   ISBN: 978-0689833007

From the time when she was just a little girl Alta showed signs of havingĀ "some arm on her" for she could pitch hard and true over and over. Alta practiced for hours, throwing at a target, playing with the boys in the summer months, and even throwing in the barn in the winter with the cows playing the part of fans. Of course there came a time when the girls began to ask Alta if it wasn't time for her to stop playing a boy's game. After all, they said, she was "almost a lady." And yet, Alta felt that she couldn?t quit now for she had barely started.

Then when Alta went to Vermillion with her father one day they saw a ball team playing on the green. She asked to play with them and did so well that the players suggested that she should play for Vermillion?s semipro team, the Independents. After some persuasion Alta got the coach of the Independents to agree to let her play. If nothing else, Alta's presence would surely bring in the fans.

Alta's performance certainly did bring in the crowds and it was because Alta played so well and not just because she was a girl.

This inspiring story based on the baseball achievements of Alta Weiss is both entertaining and enlightening. Deborah Hopkinson has captured the character and courage of this young woman in her words. At the back of the book the reader will find a "Highlights of Women in Baseball."