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Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine…

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings (edition 2006)

by Deborah Hopkinson, Terry Widener (Illustrator)

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1381786,938 (3.75)2
This is the retelling of the story of the famous baseball player Alta Weiss who pitch for a semi-pro baseball team in 1907. Although it is fiction, the reader learns about Alta Weiss struggles as a female athlete. It would be a good book to use for a history lesson in famous women, and women who have achieved greatness against all odds. ( )
  abruser | Apr 26, 2012 |
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Proving all the boys wrong, Girl Wonder shows that girls can play ball too. After striking out all the boys in town, she is persuaded to go semi-pro and play for the Independents. At first glance, the coach told her to pack her bags and head back home. After all, girls can't play baseball. However, Girl Wonder convinced him that she would draw in fans from all over the place. Money signs lit up that old coach's eyes and he decided to let her join the team. Girl Wonder drew fans from all over just as she had promised and she kept them coming while her success continued. Finally, she decided to give up the game and pursued another dream. She then became the first female doctor in the class of 1914.
The early 1900's marked a time in history in which females still faced inequalities. They were expected to present themselves in a feminine way and they certainly were not allowed to play ball with the boys. This is what made Girl Wonder stand out among the crowd. She was unlike all the other women of her time. She proved to society that women can do the things men can do. Becoming a doctor also took it to another level, proving that women don't have to settle as a housewife. Thus, the message is to chase your dreams. Don't let society tell you what you can and can't do. ( )
  srmorgan | Feb 4, 2016 |
Told in nine "innings" the story of Alta Weiss is told in simplistic dialogue from the first-person perspective. Girls and boys can learn about her dedication and passion for baseball and how that led her to play semi-pro ball - despite being a girl. A timeline in the back of the book lists some other highlights related to women in baseball. ( )
  GReader28 | Oct 17, 2015 |
Summary: The story of a 17-year-old girl named Alta who is the first girl to join an all male baseball team. Many people are intrigued to watch Alta play and some are skeptical. She proves to everyone and most importantly, she proves to herself anything is possible as long as you believe in your dreams. The end of the book features a timeline of women players in baseball throughout history.

Personal reflection: I enjoyed this book because there are not a lot of books designed for young females in particular that want the same opportunities as their male friends they go to school with. I love the story and the massage that you shouldn't not play a sport or pursue a dream just because other people say you can't.

Class use: I would use this book to explore the effects of stereotypes throughout history. I would use it in a text set on women's rights and equality. I would also read the book aloud and open it to class discussion. Why was Alta allowed to play baseball?
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 26, 2015 |
This biography told the story of a woman named Alta Weiss who was one of the first women to ever play baseball. The book goes throughout Atla's growing up, showing where her passion began as a child. The biography describes all the work and practice she put into the sport, even though she was a woman and that was very uncommon. Not everyone believes in her but she never gave up, and kept working hard. She finds a team that lets her play along with them, and they go undefeated for nearly two years. After playing baseball Alta decides to go to medical school to become a doctor, something else extremely uncommon for the women of her day. This book gives a wonderful biography of Alta Weiss, and also a brief history into the women's rights movement. ( )
  sommerkirk | Apr 21, 2015 |
This biography is about Alta Weiss, one of the first female baseball players. This book goes through her life as a female child that is interested in playing baseball. She practices all of the time, even when girls tell her that it is time to grow up. She doesn't listen to these people, and she meets a semipro team that lets her play with them, and they almost go undefeated for two straight years. After her time with the baseball team, she goes off to become a doctor, only female in her graduating class in 1914. This book is a great book to read in the class when we are trying to focus on woman's rights/woman's history. I think that this is a great example of not giving up and always following a dream. It is inspiring, and very interesting. ( )
  amassingale | Apr 21, 2015 |
Historical Fiction. A great story about a little girl who grew up playing baseball on a farm. As she grew up she started playing with guys teams and striking them out. One day she went with her father to Vermilion to see the sights but spotted some men playing baseball. She asked If she could play and they said yes. She played so good they recommended her to try out for the semi pro team. She made it and was the star. She quickly gained fame and then stopped to become a doctor. ( )
  Rsantoyo13 | Mar 17, 2015 |
This historical fiction story tells about Girl Wonder, Alta Weiss. She was born to play baseball. When she was two, she threw a corncob so hard at her family cat. From then on, she was able to throw very hard. She practiced every day, no matter the weather. She heard about a semipro team and convinced them to let her join the team. She pitched to her first batter and caught the line drive. She then became the starting pitcher for the Independents. Eventually, she retired from baseball to be a doctor. She then started inspiring young girls to play baseball everywhere. ( )
  BayleeWestrick | Mar 9, 2015 |
This historical fiction book was inspired by a true story about a girl who was born to play baseball. She knew from a young age that she could throw hard and strong. She set up a target in her barn and practice for hours no matter what the weather. When she was 17 she had struck out every boy in town. Other ladies her age told her she should put the ball down and start actin like a lady but she refused. She was determined to play baseball with the boys regardless of what the coach said. After allowing her to play because he wanted to sell more tickets she surprised them all. As the first batter came up she began to doubt herself, but then she caught the line drive getting the batter out! Girl wonder was now no doubted by her coach anymore. She became the girl who can throw. The girl who can play baseball. Girl wonder. Upper elementary would ideally be best for the book.
  dluby17 | Feb 24, 2015 |
This book is fiction however, it is based on the life of baseball pioneer, Alta Weiss. The book is very interesting because instead of being in chapter form it is in innings. It goes from the first inning until the ninth inning. This is appropriate because the theme of the book is baseball. On the front cover of the book the author's note informs readers the true story of Alta Weiss. At the end of the book is a timeline of womens' baseball. I would read this to my students when discussing important women figures in America. ( )
  jpons | Nov 16, 2014 |
About a girl who has a great arm and loves to play baseball even though it is very unusual for a girl to play. She shows how even girls can be good at sports.
Instructional Use:
This book will be a fun to read to students as a true story example of how women were treated differently before women were given equal rights. ( )
  mrspriest | Jul 1, 2014 |
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience: 3-5th grade
This is a story about a young girl who aspires to be a baseball player at a time when girls were not encouraged to play sports. I will definitely use this book to show how women entered the world of sports. ( )
  ShantiR | Feb 27, 2014 |
Highlights women in baseball. But more importantly, highlights that women can do anything with a little practice and determination.
  JudesThree | Feb 24, 2013 |
This is the retelling of the story of the famous baseball player Alta Weiss who pitch for a semi-pro baseball team in 1907. Although it is fiction, the reader learns about Alta Weiss struggles as a female athlete. It would be a good book to use for a history lesson in famous women, and women who have achieved greatness against all odds. ( )
  abruser | Apr 26, 2012 |
Alta Weiss threw her first pitch at the age of two, when she hurled a corn cob at a tomcat chasing her favorite chicken. Later, she trained all year, even throwing practice pitches in the barn in the dead of winter, while the cows stood by and watched. Later, she became the first woman to play semi-pro baseball when she convinced the coach of the Ohio Independents to give her a try. In Deborah Hopkinson’s retelling of the true story in “Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings” readers get to know what it was like to be a woman at the turn of the century trying to break into a male-dominated industry. The plot is a bit bland, as so many “true stories” tend to be when they stay close to home, but Hopkinson makes up for it in beautiful imagery and metaphor, “…the glove on my hand as big as one of Mama’s prize sunflowers.” p. 4). Illustrator Terry Widener’s acrylic paint drawings are reminiscent of some of Picasso’s later work, with rounded lines and figures with piece-meal facial features, giving the book’s imagery a strong base. The book’s introduction includes suggestions for more reading on Alta Weiss and a website readers can check out and at the back, a timeline is included that details dates of other famous women in semi-pro and minor league baseball. Recommended for readers ages 6-10. ( )
  sroslund | Nov 26, 2011 |
This book did not receive any awards. Girl Wonder is good for preschoolers through 2nd grade because the book has a basic storyline for preschoolers to follow, but the idea of girls participating in sports is good for the 2nd graders and older grades. This story is about a little girl was born to play baseball, but she was born in the time when sports were only for men. Despite everyone telling her to stop playing she played with the boys and she practiced pitching when ever she found time. When she was 17 everyone told her to give up this dream of hers, but she went right to the manager of a baseball league and told them to let her play. At first he didn't want to because he didn't think girls can play ball, but then she said that people would come to the games more to see her play. So he signed her contract and the "girl wonder" became a celebrity and brought her team a championship. She eventually ended her career and became a doctor. This story deals with gender equality, diversity and following your dreams. Before reading I would see how many students play sports and how many girls play sports. Then I would have them say what activities are meant for boys and which are meant for boys. I would then bring out my college basketball jersey and read to the children in my jersey so it is showing that girls can not only play sports, but they can play it at a high level. After reading the book the younger grades can draw a picture of their favorite sport while the older grades can find articles in the news paper about women athletes and we can talk about gender equality.
  mmaher8 | Nov 5, 2011 |
This biographical picture book tells the story of Alta Weiss a pioneering female baseball player that convinces a coach to let her play and pitch for a semipro all male team the Vermilion Independents and becomes a celebrity. ( )
  ekean06 | Nov 11, 2009 |
This story is an excellent example of historical fiction because it tells the true story of baseball pioneer Alta Weiss in a fun and clever way, from the perspective of Alta herself. Weiss really was an outstanding baseball player that went on to play for the Vermilion Independents, an Ohio semipro team, in 1907. She later went on to medical school and was the only woman in her class. This story of Alta Weiss takes place in the early 1900's, which is important because it was the time when the Feminist Movement was just getting its start in the United States. Alta Weiss is an example of a woman who was willing to break the gender stereotypes of her time for the sake of following her dreams, and she is an inspiration to anyone who reads this story about her life.
  katitefft | Feb 25, 2009 |
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