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Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream School & Library Binding – September 30, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • School & Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584302437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584302438
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–This anecdotal tale is based on the childhood of Marcenia Toni Stone Lyle Alberga (1921-1996), who became the first woman to play professional baseball. As a girl, Marcenia dreams only of playing baseball, while her strict but loving parents suggest that she stick to dolls and focus on school. One night she overhears them ruefully acknowledge the limited options that lie in store for most African-American girls: teaching, nursing, or being a maid. Marcenia promises herself that she'll achieve her goal. Opportunity arrives in the form of Gabby Street, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, who runs a free baseball camp for kids. He's impressed by her talent, but doesn't allow girls to participate. The story ends with her acceptance into the camp and her determination to make her dream come true. An afterword sums up Lyle's name change and her career, including the fact that she filled the spot vacated by Hank Aaron when he joined the Major Leagues. Hubbard's lively text does a fine job of capturing this young heroine's unquenchable spirit. DuBurke's balanced pen-and-ink and acrylic artwork strongly supports the mood and emotion of the text. Much like its winsome, pigtailed heroine, this heartwarming picture book will inspire and engage dreamers young and old.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. In her torn dress and street shoes, Marcenia, who is growing up in the 1920s, bests many of the boys on her baseball team. But her father criticizes her "tomboy" interests, and a scout for a local baseball camp refuses to accept a girl on the team. Marcenia vows to play hard and change the scout's mind, and she finally wins a spot on the team. An afterword explains that Marcenia grew up to become Toni Stone, the first woman to play for a professional baseball team. Hubbard never clarifies which parts of the story, rich in dialogue and detail, are based on true events. She does, however, write with sensory precision that conveys the thrilling feel of playing ("the powdery taste of dust clouds"; "the sting" of a baseball slamming into a mitt), while DuBurke's textured ink and acrylic images emphasize Marcenia's excitement on the field and yearning at home. Children, especially girls, will cheer for Marcenia as she defies the narrow expectations for young women of the time and fiercely pursues her dream. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I am a mother of four who writes full-time from a suburb outside St. Louis, Missouri. I began my writing career as a newspaper reporter in Boston, but after the birth of my first child, I took a desk job as a sports copy editor at the Boston Herald where I was the only female "rimmie" on the night desk. The men I worked with were incredible and, unbeknownst to most of them, have served as the real-life examples for several of the heroes in my romance novels.

Primarily, I write romance novels and picture books, but I've written educational text and young adult novels as well.

I'm often asked which I prefer writing, romance novels for adults or picture books for children. The question is rather like being asked which of your children you prefer.

I enjoy both genres. Both require lots of research and creativity, and both are satisfying in their own ways. I draw on real people and real life for my romance novels, which can turn readers off when a fictional character I've modeled after a real person doesn't behave as they'd like, or if they can't connect with the character.

For my picture books, I've always chosen real people, and I work hard to provide honest portrayals of my subjects. I love the freedom fiction allows me but I also love the unflinching truth of my picture books.

My fiction writing suffered in 2008, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. The book I was writing at the time is evidence of the anger, frustration, confusion and fear I experienced during surgery, chemotherapy and their aftermaths. Since I put so much of my own experiences and relationships in my books, my writing became muddied by personal turmoil.

I like to think that as I recovered, so did my writing. Cancer gave me a fresh perspective and a fearlessness that I hadn't had before. My December 2011 release, Everything in Between, marks the end of my romance writing career. (Or so I keep telling myself!) That will be good news to some of my critics, but for those who like my writing, I'm attempting to branch into another genre.

I'm starting over anew, but I feel I'm up to the challenge. I owe my readers a debt of gratitude for their support, interest and encouragement over the years, and not just because they invest their time and finances in my work. In my darkest moments, readers have been the people who pulled me from despair and self pity. Readers are the ones who complete all of my stories, because without them, no story ever truly lives.

Customer Reviews

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In the early 1930s, Marcenia Lyle was a young girl who loved baseball and could hit, field, and run better than the best of the boys.
Midwest Book Review
Faith, perseverance and a spiritual connection are all wrapped up in this beautiful story that is enhanced by stunning artwork done by Mr. Randy DuBurke.
Denise Bolds
Catching The Moon is a fantastic example of how determination and hard work can make any dream no matter how improbably it seems to come true.
Cheryl the working mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cathy on December 1, 2006
Format: School & Library Binding
Tomboy Marcenia wants to play baseball but knows the options for an African-American girl in the 1920's are limited. That doesn't stop her and in the Author's Afterward the reader finds Marcenia's persistence and love of the game prevails over adversity. Children will enjoy the acrylic

illustrations which convey the action of the game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl the working mom on February 16, 2006
Format: School & Library Binding
Catching The Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream is the story of a little girl named Marcenia, who dreams of being a professional baseball player. This ambition is most unlikely since Marcenia is a female black child growing up in America in the 1930s. Catching The Moon is a fantastic example of how determination and hard work can make any dream no matter how improbably it seems to come true. This true story of Marcenia Lyle, who really did grow up to be the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, is inspiring not just to children but to anyone who thinks it may be too late to pursue a dream. This book serves as an example to all that anything is possible. It is truly a remarkable story brilliantly told by Crystal Hubbard and wonderfully illustrated by Randy DuBurke.
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Format: School & Library Binding
In the early 1930s, Marcenia Lyle was a young girl who loved baseball and could hit, field, and run better than the best of the boys. When Gabby Street (the baseball manager of the St. Louis Cardinals) came to recruit children for his baseball camp, Marcenia realized that his camp could be her first step from the sand lot to playing baseball with the pros. But Mr. Street didn't allow girls at his camp and Marcenia's parents want her to give up her baseball dreams and act like other girls her age. Dramatically told by Crystal Hubbard and superbly illustrated by Randy DuBurke, Catching The Moon: The Story Of A Young Girl's Baseball Dream is a picturebook for young readers based on the true story of the determination and passion of a young girl who would one day become the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro league. Highly recommended -- especially for school and community libraries of the inner cities.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Mom on November 28, 2005
Format: School & Library Binding
Every baseball fan, young and old, should read this book to learn about Marcenia Lyle, the determined little girl who grew up to be the first roster member of a men's baseball team. This book is sheer delight from the first page to the last. Crystal Hubbard's text bounces off the page while managing to capture Marcenia's drive to succeed. The story is perfectly told from the point of view of the child, including the words she overhears from her parents, which accurately sums up the obstacles Marcenia faces. I very much enjoyed how Marcenia set her sights as high as the moon and achieved her goal. What makes this book even more powerful is that it's an anecdotal telling of a true story. Catching The Moon gives readers young and old the idea that any dream is within grasp if you're willing to work for it. My children and I adored this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bolds VINE VOICE on June 25, 2007
Format: School & Library Binding
This book was given to me as a gift - a very special gift. At 42 years of age - I found this story to be inspirational and beautiful. I read this story aloud to myself and caught the magic! Ms. Hubbard catches the essence of a traditional African Ancestry family and Marcenia's dream of playing baseball. Children teach us all the time - if we take a moment and accept the lesson. Marcenia did not let any obstacles such as gender, economics or a dress deter her from her dream. Faith, perseverance and a spiritual connection are all wrapped up in this beautiful story that is enhanced by stunning artwork done by Mr. Randy DuBurke. No matter what age - we all have dreams - how we make them a reality is another story. "Catching The Moon" is truly a keepsake in any personal library!
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