Monday, November 9, 2015

Book of the Week: Queen of the Diamond

Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story

by Emily Arnold McCully
Published by Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux,   
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-374-30007-4
Ages 5-9

Lizzie Murphy grew up in the early twentieth century in a baseball-loving family. Lizzie was both eager to play and savvy, bargaining her way onto her brother’s team. By fifteen, she was playing on two amateur teams. At eighteen, she set out to earn a living playing baseball, despite her mother’s concern. “But it’s what I do best,” Lizzie replied. To the manager of the semi-pro team who signed her, as a woman Lizzie was a novelty who would bring more people into the stadium to see the game. But Lizzie was a good player and she demanded to be paid the same as her male teammates. Not long after, her mother gave her a jersey with her name across the front. “You’re a pro now….your fans will want to see your name.” Lizzie played professional baseball for seventeen years. In an author’s note at the end of this spirited account, McCully writes that Lizzie wasn’t the only woman to play on teams with and against men, but she was among a small number, and she was not only the first woman to play a major league exhibition game, but “the first person to play on the National and the American leagues’ all-star teams.” A photograph of Lizzie in uniform accompanying this note is the winning run in this surprising and inspiring volume. ©2015 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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