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Babe Ruth (Up Close) Hardcover – March 19, 2009
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Hampton announces early in this biography of Babe Ruth that his emphasis is on separating fact from legend, and he is not afraid to dig up some of the more tawdry aspects of the slugger’s life. Unlike the approach in other books about Ruth, the focus here is on Ruth’s sad early life and his career as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox. Throughout, an attempt is made to give some sense of the grace, power, and skill of Ruth on the field. Of course, nearly all biographies of Ruth for young people inevitably end up discussing Ruth’s outside appetites for food and drink, and this biography also mentions his many extramarital affairs and his illegitimate child, who was officially passed off as a sudden adoption. Most libraries already have a full lineup of Ruth biographies. This title, part of the UpClose series and illustrated with a nice selection of photos, has the advantage of telling the complete, unvarnished story in a snappy, concise style. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning
...Babe Ruth will forever be a part of baseball lore, and this work does credit to the player of legend. --Kirkus Reviews
To his credit, Hampton doesn't throw readers a meatball (an easy pitch). He delivers a candid portrait of a glorious athlete and an imperfect man whose "very name is synonymous with greatness." ---Horn Book
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