The Kid From Diamond Street and other Audrey Vernick favorites

Another WOW Retreat author is Audrey Vernick. She’s definitely a baseball fan and writes nonfiction as well as fiction picture books.

IMG_1102Title: The Kid From Diamond Street, the Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton

Written by: Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by: Steven Salerno
Clarion, HMH, 2016, biography
Suitable for ages: 4-7 (easily extends to age 10)
Lexile: AD880
Themes/topics: baseball, women in sports

Edith Houghton used to say, “I guess I was born with a baseball in my hand,” and if you’d seen little Edith playing in the 1920s, you’d probably have believed it. She was magic on the field.

Brief synopsis
(from Beginning in 1922, when Edith Houghton was only ten years old, she tried out for a women’s professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Bobbies. Though she was the smallest on the field, soon reporters were talking about “The Kid” and her incredible skill, and crowds were packing the stands to see her play. Her story reminds us that baseball has never been about just men and boys. Baseball is also about talented girls willing to work hard to play any way they can.

Activities and Resources:
Discussion and Classroom Activity Guide
Author website IMG_1101
Reading: Compare and contrast another of Vernick’s picture books featuring baseball history: Brothers at Bat, the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team.

Why I like this book:
A professional baseball player at age ten? Wow! A girl? Pure spunk! Edith’s world opened up when she traveled across the country and halfway around the globe with the Philadelphia Bobbies. She and her teammates broke barriers, explored Japanese culture, and shared their own. Unafraid of being too young or too small, unconcerned with fame, she played solely for the love of the game. The thread of Edith’s pure motive and joy for life weaves seamlessly through the story. Interesting back matter on the rest of Edith Houghton’s life follows the story.

A favorite fiction book from Audrey Vernick is Edgar’s Second Word. (Clarion, HMH, 2014)

IMG_1100Summary: (from  Hazel can’t wait for her baby brother to be born so she can talk and read with him! But when, at last, he arrives, he just sits there. More disappointing yet, when he finally speaks, his first word is a resounding NO! But Hazel resolves to wait some more—despite the ever-increasing NOs—and she keeps on reading aloud to him. Will Edgar ever say anything else? And if he does, what will his second word be?

Why I like this book:
This story is a great one for all those new big brothers and sisters preparing to welcome a new little sibling. It’s endearing and humorous. And… it’s about the wonders of reading and the magic of sharing stories!
Whether fiction or nonfiction, people or animals, Vernick’s characters are spirited and exhibit strong humanity.

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.

2 thoughts on “The Kid From Diamond Street and other Audrey Vernick favorites

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