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Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow Hardcover – December 18, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Series: AWARDS: 2010-11 YARP South Dakota Reading List Middle School
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; Gph edition (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786839007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786839001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Sturm'sgraphic novelThe Golem's Mighty Swingwas named "Best Comic 2001" byTime Magazine. In 2004, his Marvel Comics graphic novelUnstable Moleculeswon the prestegious Eisner Award. James' writings and illustrations have appeared in scores of national and regional publications, includingThe Chronicle of Higher Education,The Onion,The New York Times,The LA Weeklyand on the cover of theThe New Yorker. James is the co-founder and director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, America's premiere cartooning school, located in White River Junction, VT.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Graphic novel biographies are touch-and-go affairs. For example, Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi did little for me. I could see what the creators were trying to do, but taking a single selection out of Houdini's life and then making it directly into a comic book without any flashbacks, cuts, or original takes on his life... well, what's the point really? If you can't get creative with your subject when you're making a graphic novel out of their life then you may as well just create a plain old piece of non-fiction and be done with it. You need to do something to deserve your graphic format. In this way, Lutes and Bertozzi could take a page out of the book of James Sturm and Rich Tommaso, then. "Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow" can't be called anything but entirely thrilling. By telling Paige's stories through another man's eyes, the reader is given a fuller understanding of the times in which blacks lived during the height of Jim Crow. A graphic novel bio done right.

Our unnamed hero decides in 1929 to support his family by becoming a professional baseball player. It might have worked out too had he not played early on against the great Satchel Paige and busted his knee. Now he works as a sharecropper in the deep South and times are hard. His son is beaten by the white landowners for going to school rather than working their fields and there's little to be done about it. Then, one day, Satchel Paige is advertised as coming to play the local white baseball team and everyone turns out. At first Paige doesn't show and the game grows tense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Morris on March 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a Satchel Paige biography, this book might not be for you. If you want to read a story which paints a poignant picture of the times in which he lived, and what he meant to the people of his generation, by all means treat yourself this extremely well-written graphic novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophilic on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book, with historical depth, humor, suspense, tragedy, and sensitivity. The author and illustrator really provide insight into the psychology of segregation. My son and I both enjoyed it, and the mentions of many sad truths about the Jim Crow years in context (detailed in the fantastic endnotes) provide a jumping off point for serious discussion. Due to the violence portrayed, I'd recommend this book for ages 9 and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elvin Ortiz on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it is in black and white, this graphic novel is exellent autobiographical and biographical story combined. As Emmet Sr. tells his story, he links Satchel Paige's career with his own life. I found this combination of autobiography and biography quite interesting. Through Emmet's eyes, the reader can experience how Satchel was able to override the Jim Crow system through baseball, and one suspects that Emmet vicariously savors Satchel's boldness and sassiness before white people when he was in the ballpark. Just for a few moments I thought that the story of Emmett Till was a part of this graphic novel when the father narrates the story of his son's "mysterious" dissappearance. Fortunately, the narrator finds his son alive. However, the story is there to show the extent to which white people subdued blacks into social inferiority. The whole purpose of scaring Emmet by hurting his son was to warn him against educating his son. Later on, Satchel's victory over the white team becomes a great victory for himself.
Because of its length, however, I'm not sure how I could use it in the classroom. But, I'll keep thinking about it.
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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on January 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
All the press and blurbs I had read regarding this graphic novel led me to believe it was a biography of the great negro-league and major-league pitcher Satchel Paige. Even the back cover implies this. Instead, it's a story of how Satchel's performance at a 1944 "white vs. black" exhibition game gives inspiration to a former negro-league player and his son who live in the Jim Crow-era south. Unfortunately, this particular part of the story only makes up the last half of the book, and it would have been even less if the pages were not filled with depictions of every agonizing ritual, rhythm, pitch, and swing of a baseball game.

The introduction is the only part of this book that tells you anything about Satchel Paige's life, and while he does figure into the main character's fate and the conclusion of the story, his actual involvement throughout is minor. I'm not saying that this book is horrible - the short chapters, in and of themselves, are interesting, and there is an overall message here, but the point could have been made using fewer pages and without the blaring emphasis on Paige. I would appreciate it if the publishers would be more forthcoming with the focus of their books in the future.
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