Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
A Strong Right Arm

A Strong Right Arm

Fall 2002 Non-Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Michelle Y. Green
ISBN: 0-8037-2661-9
Hardcover Price: $15.99
Born in 1935, Mamie Johnson was taught to play baseball by her uncle. Mamie not only adored playing, she was an extraordinarily talented pitcher. After her beloved grandmother died, her mother moved her to New Jersey. Hating the girl's softball team, she learned that the Long Branch Police Department sponsored baseball teams of boys - white boys. Bearding the lions in their den, she went into the police station to find out if it was against the law for girls to play baseball. The coach, Officer O'Conner, came outside to test her and wore her out with pitching, but he accepted her. When Mamie asked what he was going to tell the boys, he laughed and said, "How 'bout we let that strong right arm of yours do all the talking?"

Talk it did. This five-foot-two, ninety-eight pound young woman's strong right arm led her all the way to three years of professional play with the Negro League's Indiannapolis Clowns. Her struggles against the injustices of racism and sexism are told as matter-of-fact asides to her joy in playing baseball. With perfect pitch for the language of her heroine and of the times, this author has written a sterling biography about a crackerjack woman.

Kemie Nix   ©2002 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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