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A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie…
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A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson

by Michelle Y. Green

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This book is a good read it allows students to know that whatever they put their minds to they can do it. ( )
  Jeholmes10 | Nov 14, 2017 |
I did like reading this book. One thing I really liked about this book was the language the author used. She wrote the way that people speak; for example, she says "I knew grandma wasn't having no baby" and "she musta believed me on the spot". Another reason I liked the language is because it is very descriptive. She says she's played baseball in "smelly cow pastures where we had to step gingerly and wait for the dirt clods to be plowed smooth by lop-eared mules". This really helps paint a picture in the children's heads so they can see the setting they are reading about. The last reason I liked this book was because they actually used real photographs of the people and scenes in the book instead of cartoons. I like this aspect in a children's book because they get to see what the characters actually looked like. This book obviously teaches children about segregation, but the main idea is believing in yourself and not giving up, no matter how many people doubt you. ( )
  jperro2 | Feb 25, 2014 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 2-5

Plot Summary: Mamie is living with her grandma and Uncle on a farm in South Carolina, but when her grandmother suddenly passes, Mamie is forced to live with other relatives in New Jersey. She watches some white boys play ball and they tease her, but she takes her families advice and tries to get what she wants: to play baseball. She goes to the police department to ask if there are any laws against her playing on the team, and the police officer she talks to is the coach. He lets her try out unofficially and then has her join the team. Mamie plays baseball on teams for years wanting nothing more than to be a professional. She and Rita show up to tryouts and they are intimidated by the manager and walk away. She keeps playing hoping a scout will find her, and finally it happens. She plays on the Indianapolis Clowns as one of two female players. The guys respect her and watch out for her when they're out on the road. She finally realizes she needs something to do when she's done playing baseball and becomes a registered nurse just as the Negro League is crumbling apart.

Setting: South Carolina, New Jersey, Indianapolis

Characters:
Mamie "Peanut" Johnson - works in a Negro League Baseball Shop now
Leo - AKA Bones, Mamie's uncle but similar age to Mamie and they were more like brother and sister, taught Mamie everything she knows including a knuckleball right before Mamie left for New Jersey
Cendonia Belton - Mamie's grandma, Mamie was living with her for a while because her mom couldn't work and take care of Mamie
Rita Jones - played with Mamie at St. Cyprian's sandlot team
Bish Tyson - scout for Indianapolis Clowns
Mr. Haywood - manager of the Indianapolis Clowns
Bunny Downs - Clowns business manager, also helped find Hank Aaron
Toni Stone - other female player on the Clowns
Connie Morgan - replaced Toni Stone on the team

Recurring Themes: baseball, race, Negro League, family, segregation

Controversial Issues: none

Personal Thoughts: Simple biography. No sub plots or anything too deep, but still covers the important facts about segregation in the time period.

Genre: Biography

Pacing: medium, quick read because it's for young kids, not a whole lot of suspense or action, no climax and the problem (will Mamie find a team?) doesn't create too much suspense
Characters:
Frame: explained within the story
Storyline:

Activity: ( )
  pigeonlover | Dec 8, 2013 |
Mamie "Peanut" Johnson was one of only three women to play professional baseball. During the 1940's baseball was still a segregated sport and Mamie was a pitcher for the Negro League Indianapolis Clowns team. She tells the story of how she grew up playing baseball, how she loved baseball and how she and the other women were treated at the time. The novelty of women playing professional baseball will easily help younger students understand how it may have felt to have segregated teams.

I am a sucker for anything baseball and the Negro Leagues fascinate me. I think it's really interesting that women were able to play in the Negro Leagues, but Major Leage Baseball has yet to have a woman play. The story moved really well, sometimes skipping years or condensing so that the pacing was right. ( )
  agrudzien | May 18, 2013 |
Mamie Johnson loves baseball.
  MGraysonk12 | Mar 23, 2012 |
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Mama never mentioned it, but i'm sure I musta been born with a baseball in my hand, its smooth white skin curving into my tiny brown palm. Ever since I can remember, my thoughts flooding back over sixty years now, my life has been wrapped up in that three-inch universe of twine and leather.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142400726, Paperback)

Motivated by her love for the game and inspired by the legendary Jackie Robinson, Mamie Johnson is determined to be a professional baseball pitcher.  But in a sport that's determined by white men, there is no place for a black woman.  Mamie doesn't give up-from the time she insists on trying out for the all-male, all-white Police Athletic League until she realizes her dream and becomes one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues.  Mamie Johnson's life shows that with courage and perseverance one can overcome even the greatest challenges.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Motivated by her love for the game and inspired by the legendary Jackie Robinson, Mamie Johnson is determined to be a professional baseball pitcher. In a sport that's determined by white men, there is no place for a black woman. Mamie doesn't give up-from the time she insists on trying out for the all-male, all-white Police Athletic League until she realizes her dream and becomes one of three women to play in the Negro Leagues. Mamie Johnson's life shows that with courage and perseverance one can overcome even the greatest challenges.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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