This book begins like others in McKissack’s Scraps of Time series, with the Webster cousins finding a keepsake in their grandmother Gee’s attic. In this case, it’s a baseball signed by Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, leading Gee to tell the story of Tank and Jimbo Turner. In 1937 Nashville, Tank and Jimbo love baseball but have no one save each other to play with. When the Homestead Grays come to town, they sneak into the stands to watch their hero, Josh Gibson, play. Even more exciting, though, is when their house becomes a stop on the “chitlin’ circuit,” which provided homes for traveling Negro League players, and Gibson himself stays with them while the team is in town. The two brothers learn much about the game from the great player, and more about life when they discover that pure idolization can lead to troublesome results. Purposeful, yes, but also a good child’s-eye introduction to baseball’s segregated past. James’ steady black-and-white illustrations add a welcome depth. Grades 3-6. --Ian Chipman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Patricia C. McKissack lives in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Gordon C. James lives in Charlottesville, North Carolina.