Booklist Review
Gr. 6-10. This book goes far beyond the few familiar photographs and names most readers associate with the Negro Baseball Leagues, and it makes the trip in style. We discover, for example, that George Washington's troops were "batting balls and running bases" and that the nineteenth-century relationship between baseball and race was more diverse than many young readers may realize. The McKissacks carefully record the differences of opinion about some events and the difficulty of finding source material. Oral histories from surviving players add startling depth to descriptions of conditions of play and travel, and Jackie Robinson's entry into major league ball becomes a richer and more complicated moment because the authors show where Robinson came from (and how) in addition to where he went. A player roster will be helpful to students, and a time line carefully weaves together the sports world and the world of lynchings, race riots, the Civil War, and the incandescent electric lamp. ~--Mary Harris Veeder