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Dirt on Their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women who Won the World Championship Hardcover – March 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803720424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803720428
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on written accounts and interviews with former players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Rappaport (paired with Lewis for The New King) and Callan (a playwright) whisk readers back in time to the 1946 championship game between the Rockford Peaches and the Racine Belles. Judiciously using endmatter to relate a historical overview of the league, the authors serve up a fan's view of the game, placing a young spectator named Margaret and her family at the center of the action. "You have to be tough to play baseball in a skirt," Margaret's mother says, and it's easy to see why as Sophie "the Flash" Kurys and Betty "Moe" Trezza take the field, scraped knees and all. The final inning unfolds play by play, in potent and colorful language. Margaret, for example, notes that the Belles' victory "felt like the last day of school, the Fourth of July, the end of the War." Lewis's fluid, assured watercolors capture the on-field energy as well as the humanity of the players and their fans. Well wrought in every regard, this is a nifty introduction to one of baseball's shining moments and to the contributions of a group of outstanding female athletes in particular. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-This lively picture book opens at the bottom of the 14th inning of the 1946 championship game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The score is 0-0. Rappaport and Callan tell the story of this real event through the eyes of a fictional young fan of the hometown Racine Belles of Wisconsin. Margaret, her mother, and brother never miss a home game and they are joined by her father now that he is home from the service. The girl dutifully keeps score, waits for her team to come through, and endures her brother's teasing about her scabby knees. Margaret's dream is to play second base for the Belles, like her favorite player, Sophie Kurys. Nicknamed the "Flint Flash," Kurys gets a hit, steals second, and slides home to win the game. "It felt like the last day of school, the Fourth of July, the end of the War." With its economy of language and telling period details, this book provides an exciting slice of sports history and an appealing bit of Americana, and vividly conveys the spirit of one great little girl. Lewis's finely wrought watercolor paintings deftly capture the crowd and the action on the field. The game-winning play at the plate leaves no doubt that, "You have to be tough to play baseball in a skirt." Archival and recent photos of players for the Belles and the Rockford Peaches line the endpapers and stats from the championship game and an author's note round out this winning package.
Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Doreen Rappaport is known for her ground-breaking approach to multicultural history and stories for young readers. In her many award-winning books, she brings attention to not-yet-celebrated Americans, along with well-known figures.

A former teacher of music and reading, Doreen knows how to capture children's attention. Her dynamic formats engage even the most reluctant readers.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Caldecott Honor Book for Illustration, ALA Notable Book, and is on the Blue Ribbon list of the Bulletin Center for Children's Books.

We Are The Many: A Picture Book of American Indians, introduces the accomplishments of sixteen distinguished American Indians.

Her classic Escape From Slavery presents the history of the Underground Railroad through adventure stories.

The Boston Coffee Party introduces children to a neglected event in history books and shows the active roles played by women during the Revolutionary War.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The book is based on a true event that takes place in 1946 while the men are gone off to war. Margaret and her family are at the 1946 championship game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The two teams, Racine Belles of Wisconsin and the Rockford Peaches of Illinois are locked in a fierce battle for the championship. The score is 0-0 at the bottom of the fourteenth inning. Baseball fans can almost hear the crack of the bat as the author, young Margaret, vividly describes how Sophie "The Flash" Kurys connects with a perfect pitch. This book is sure to excite young readers and any girl who ever loved the game. Acclaimed artist, E.B. Lewis' artwork compliments the exciting text. Actual photographs of the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches on the endpages adds a nice historical touch. An added bonus for fans is the scorecard of the actual game at the end of the book. This would be a great read-aloud book for a classroom or family. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "robs59" on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
On September 16th in 1946, the world was healing from the war and the baseball was still America's game, even when played by women with "dirt on their skirts." The two best teams competed for the championship in September and Dirt on Their Skirts chronicles the championship game in 1946. Doreen Rappaport and Lyndell Callan tell the story of the Margaret, a little girl with baseball stars in her eyes. Like the boys in my class today, she is full of the statistics and habits of her heroes as she watches them in the biggest game of their lives. Margaret keeps careful track of the game on her scorecard...all the way to the 14th inning! E.B. Lewis's luminous watercolors draw the reader through the book. The book is a fitting tribute to the days where women played ball and men AND women cheered for them. Endnotes provide historical details. A wonderful celebration of pioneers in baseball!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It is wonderful to have a book like this to set an example for the girls of today who have so much more access to athletics. This honors the women who paved the road but then had to back out of the picture when the men returned from the war. Read this one to your daughters to let them know how lucky they are!
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Format: Hardcover
I like the factual nature of this story, but its pretty text heavy for a picture book--definitely something for older readers (3rd to 5th graders).

The pictures reflect the text, they aren't playful but more in the realistic side. I wasn't feeling super engaged just reading this to myself. I think though, with the right storyteller narrating it would be a great teaching tool. It's a book I could see on Reading Rainbow.
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