- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 0840 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books (February 4, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142415448
- ISBN-13: 978-0142415443
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Brooklyn Nine Paperback – February 4, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7–10—In loosely connected chapters, Gratz examines how one Brooklyn family is affected by the game of baseball. Ten-year-old German immigrant Felix Schneider arrives in America in the mid-19th century and uses his speed to good advantage both on the ball field and as a runner delivering the goods his uncle, a cloth cutter, produces. His fortunes and his family's take a turn for the worse, however, when his legs are badly injured in the great Manhattan fire of 1845 (where he encounters volunteer firefighter Alexander Cartwright, the father of modern baseball). Subsequent "innings" deal with Felix's son, Louis, who has compassion for a Confederate soldier because of their shared love of baseball; Walter Snider, a Brooklyn Superbas batboy who secures a tryout for legendary Negro Leagues star Cyclone Joe Williams and discovers the ugliness of anti-Semitism and racial prejudice; and Jimmy Flint, a 10-year-old in 1957, who worries about the class bully, Sputnik, nuclear annihilation—and the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. Curiously, the author passes over the team's glory years from the late 1940s to the mid-'50s. For the working-class Schneider/Snider family, baseball is an important part of their history, but it does little to mitigate the gritty reality of their lives. Economic uncertainty, prejudice, and the threat of violence are ever-present concerns, and the accurate, tough-minded depiction of these issues is the novel's greatest strength.—Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* Gratz (Samurai Shortstop, 2006) builds this novel upon a clever enough conceit—nine stories (or innings), each following the successive generations in a single family, linked by baseball and Brooklyn—and executes it with polish and precision. In the opening stories, there is something Scorsese-like (albeit with the focus on players, not gangsters) in Gratz’s treatment of early New York: a fleet-footed German immigrant helps Alexander Cartwright (credited with creating modern baseball) during a massive 1845 factory fire; a young boy meets his hero, the great King Kelly, who by age 30 is a washed-up alcoholic scraping by as a vaudeville act. The pace lags a bit in the middle innings, where a talented young girl stars in the WW II–era All-American Girls Baseball League and a card-collecting boy lives in fear of the Russians, Sputnik, and the atomic bomb. But the final two stories provide a flurry of late-inning heroics: a Little League pitcher’s shot at a perfect game told with breathtaking verve; and a neat stitching-together effort to close the book. Each of the stories are outfitted with wide-ranging themes and characters that easily warrant more spacious confines, but taken together they present a sweeping diaspora of Americana, tracking the changes in a family through the generations, in society at large for more than a century and a half, and, not least, in that quintessential American pastime. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I remember Sandy’s perfect game, and when Jackie Robinson came to Wrigley Field for the first time and when the Dodgers left Brooklyn. I was not a Dodger fan, and in fact gloried any time my Cubs managed to hand them their butts. I remember like it was yesterday, seeing that demolition ball painted like a baseball as it crashed into the hallowed walls of Ebbets Field. It was a sad day and I have never totally forgiven the traitors who moved West.
I also recall the worst trade in baseball history when the Cubs gave my boyhood hero, the late, great Andy Pafko, for dead-armed catcher Bruce Edwards and unsteady Eddie Mixes.
But back to the book; I think it’s a textbook, a history book, and a great read for any kid who likes baseball but isn’t that keen on history. I read it in two sittings and now it will be in my young grandson’s bookcase alongside of my novel, “I Weren’t Always a Pitcher.”
Reading this book gave me the same impression folks seemed to have about my book; it’s very easy to tell that the author knows and loves the game.
My Reaction: I absolutely loved the format of this book! It was so creative to make each chapter a new generation! The characters in each inning varied from a 10 year old boy, to a Union soldier, to a female baseball star...to many more! I really enjoyed the unique perspective each character brought to the story. The author was able to connect significant events from beginning to end, making this novel a creative masterpiece! Great for both girls and boys! This is one of my favorite books of all time!
This book is full of adventure and plenty of surprises! I recommend this book to people who love historical adventure stories, or people who like baseball. If you do not understand baseball that much, that is okay. It will still make sense.
I gave the Book a five star review, because I REALLY enjoyed it! It was action packed and full of fun!!!
NUMBER OF PAGES-299
This book weaves the history of the country through different eyes, mostly through baseball. This is not a baseball book, yet it is there for the taking. This was one of the most fun books I have read in a long time.
A baseball fan would love how the game weaves through the lives of all the characters with enough non baseball life in the story to keep the non-fan engaged.
The 2 nd through the 4th inning is by far my favorite sections, but overall this is a great summer read for anyone aged 10-95. While not a scholar the language used seemed period accurate and the story never lost its flow.
Need something light that will take you deeper, take a swing with this one.