Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine InningsSpring 2003 Picture Books
By six, Alta had developed a mean pitching arm and bested all the boys in her hometown at the game. When a dubious coach in a neighboring town allows her one inning on the mound, it is all she needs to earn a permanent place on the Vermillion Independents, a semi-professional team. Author Hopkinson is to be commended for not allowing an iota of imposed feminism to color Alta’s wondrous career. Talent and hard work got her to the top. As for Terry Widener’s pictures, they are a brilliant addition to the story. Widener certainly knows the tensions on pitchers, batters, and fans as a close game progresses. The setting and the entire ambience are 100% authentic. Just looking at the photograph of Alta Weiss on the book’s back cover reveals Widener’s admirable ability to capture the essence of a given scene. In sum, the book will induce many a reader to urge a parent “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It’s a first-rate book.