Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Kit's Home Run

Kit's Home Run

Valerie Tripp
Illustrator:  Walter Rane 
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 12
American Girl, 1998   ISBN: 978-1584854821

Kit is just the kind of girl many of us would like to have as a friend. Not only is she fun and cheerful but she is a very talented baseball player. Kit is a big baseball fan and she desperately wishes that she could go and watch a Cincinnati Reds game. Unfortunately, these are the Depression years and there is no extra money available in Kit's household to pay for tickets. To help support her family, Kit's mother has turned her home into a boarding house. Mrs. Howard and her son Sterling are two of the boarders who have practically become members of the family. Kit finds Mrs. Sterling hard to live with. She is a very fussy, flustery sort of woman who does little to contribute to the household. "If we're a team, Mrs. Howard sure isn't a star player" Kit thinks, using a baseball analogy. For a team to succeed all its players have to work hard at their particular specialty. The same goes for Kit's household. As far as Kit is concerned, Mrs. Howard isn't keeping up her end of things.

It is only when Kit gets injured during a baseball game that Kit sees beyond the fussing and grumbling. It is Mrs. Howard who cleans her up and takes her to the hospital. Feeling sore and in pain Kit appreciates the attention Mrs. Howard gives her, the sympathy and caring words. Kits sees that Mrs. Howard does in fact have a role on her 'team' and that she does her best in a time of great hardship. Best of all, when Kit finds Mrs. Howard a job, Mrs. Howard thanks Kit by taking her and Stirling to a Reds game.

This delightful story set against the backdrop of the Depression is a wonderful example of how baseball can be seen as more than just a game. In the back of the book there is a section on "Looking back 1934". This gives the reader a fascinating look at what was happening in the baseball world during the 1930's. It describes how baseball teams were affected by the Depression and what they did to survive and in fact thrive during this hard time. "Kit's Home Run" is one of a series of books about Kit.