The barnstorming baseball teams of the 1920s are the grist for this graphic novel that follows a Jewish team, the Stars of David, through the Midwest in a broken-down bus, using the gimmick of exotic ethnicity to draw small-towners to their games. At this level, baseball is as much showbiz as sport, so to boost attendance, the team's sole black player, billed as a "member of the lost tribe," poses as a golem, a creature made of clay and brought to life by a rabbinical incantation. The scheme goes terribly awry, however, when the massive crowd it draws, inflamed by anti-Semitism, storms the field. Like its legendary model, this golem damages its creators. Sturm is a master of nuance, whose economical drawings effectively evoke the era, while his thoughtful compositions impressively capture action and atmosphere. He uses the national pastime to examine such equally American traits as racism and media hype. But mostly, this a particularly insightful take on the theme of immigrants caught between their traditions and the ways of a new land. Gordon Flagg
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2001 Best Graphic Novel --Time
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"This book is a home run in any language." --Observer on Sunday
"Employing thick lines, minimal detail and simple prose storytelling, sturm gracefully summons the seedy, often dangerous baseball world of the 1920s...this would make a fine gift for any fan of the game." --Washington Post Book World