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Baseball Saved Us Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880000199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880000199
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 9.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW praised the "stylish prose" and "stirring illustrations" in this tale of a Japanese American boy's confinement in a WWII internment camp. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-- After briefly describing the way his family was removed from their home and sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II, the narrator, "Shorty," tells how baseball was used as a diversion from the dire situation in which the camp's inhabitants found themselves. After improvising a baseball diamond, uniforms, and equipment, they played games. In one of these contests, the usually weak-hitting Shorty catches a glimpse of one of the ever-present guards and channels his anger toward the man into his swing, resulting in a winning home run. After the war and his return home, he continues to play ball while at the same time being subjected to racial taunts, again refocusing his anger to produce positive results on the diamond. The sport plays a secondary role to the blatant racism depicted in this somber book. The paintings, scratchboard overlaid with oils, effectively reflect the tone of the story. Pair this powerful title with Hamanaka's The Journey (Orchard, 1990). --Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book receives my highest rating and is first rate with teachers everywhere.
David Brian Kooper
It provoked a lot of discussion about tolerance, about people with different color skin, and about how even a country as great as ours has made and can mistakes.
Pen Name
The injustices in this book are well written to inform a large audience at many age levels.
Amy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amy on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mochizuki, K. (1993). Baseball Saved Us. New York. LEE & LOW BOOKS.

The story of "Shorty" and his family living at an interment camp during WWII can be used when teaching students about war, especially WWII. Younger students can relate to the character of "Shorty" and his struggles with fitting in and the hardships he feels among peers. Older students can debate the equality issues and the effect war has on people concerning race, religion, and nationality. The issues of prejudices are revealed through the eyes of a young Japanese-American boy. This story revolves around baseball, an all American great pastime. Baseball is the answer because the Japanese-American's are American's. The injustices in this book are well written to inform a large audience at many age levels.
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58 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book starts out well. As a Japanese American teacher (retired) who was interned, however, I was very troubled by the stereotypic name ("Shorty") given to the protagonist; boys in camp had lots of nicknames--why select one that reinforces negative images? Was also disturbed by the boy's motivation, anger at the white camp guard, because it sends a poor message to young readers that they need anger at someone who was doing his job to motivate them. Most of the boys playing ball in camp played for love of the game, out of boredom, or someother reason but if they tried to do well it wasn't out of anger. Last, and most problematic, is the ending where after the war, Shorty is playing baseball and being called different racist names. Then he hits a home run and suddenly everyone loves him. The book never explains why calling people racist names is a bad thing. What if Shorty (like many children) couldn't hit a home run? The underlying message seems to be that if you assimilate enough into white culture (hit a home run) all your problems with racism will be solved. That's unrealistic and for those of us who have lived with racism, highly offensive. It's clear to me that the young man who wrote the book meant well but clearly he did not live through the war and has not thought these things out. Was told the book got some awards, and am most concerned that readers wouldn't see the inherent problems with the book. Baseball didn't save anybody.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Dennis on July 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a great inspiration to young children. It deals with obstacles in life and the ways they are over come. Even if you are different, there are ways for everyone to fit in.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ken's father spent WWII in the Minidoka Japanese-American Internment Camp in Idaho. Ken, the author was raised in Seattle. Shorty is stuck in the barracks without friends, surrounded by noise and boredom. No one has anything to do. His dad sees verves fraying and has an idea, Build a baseball diamond and organize games. The men make the diamond, the women improvise the uniforms. Games are scheduled under the gaze of the guard towers. Shorty scores a big hit under nervous angry pressure. After the war, he continues to be taunted, but learns self respect under the pressure of adversity. The benefit from this book, is that there is no whitewash. It is honest, and yes, he was called Shorty, cuz life is like that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Brian Kooper on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an amazing resource for teaching students about the inequalities that took place during WWII. It is a reality check to all of those who stood by and watched their fellow friends and neighbors as they were forced to leave their homes and be placed in internment camps. This is not just a gut check. This book served to illustrate how the simple things in life can mean everything. This book receives my highest rating and is first rate with teachers everywhere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Claire Wadlington on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this to my "just-turned 8" year old son who really identified with the kid as "odd man out." The story both communicates what it was like to be in a Japanese internment camp from a kid's perspective, and communicates how it feels to be an outsider (a feeling I'm sure every child has felt some time) by talking about baseball and being the "littlest" and physically different kid. A nice, serious story with a smile at the end.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was about a boy and his family when america was at war with jaspan. The boys dad dicided to make a baseball field and everyone hekp it eas like the real thing. The boy was not such a good playaer but he practiced. After the war ended he went back home it was bad nobody talked him and also made fun of him. Basebasll season came and he palyed for a team there to they made fun of him saying Jap's no good. That same day he bated and he made jhi steam win. This sotry show the struggle and getting out it just by playing baseball.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of a boy inside an internment camp during WWII. It deals with a lot of feelings, yet shows how determined the detainees were to survive and create an acceptable life for themselves. The story demonstrates that one must continue to strive for a good life even when conditions hold little promise for happiness.
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