The Streak: How Joe Dimaggio Became America's Hero

by Barb Rosenstock (Author) Terry Widener (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

New York Yankees baseball great Joe DiMaggio's longest hitting streak in baseball history is spotlighted in this narrative nonfiction picture book by award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and noted illustrated Terry Widener.

In the summer of 1941, Yankee center fielder Joe DiMaggio and his favorite bat, Betsy Ann, begin the longest hitting streak in baseball history. But when Betsy Ann goes missing, will DiMaggio keep hitting? Set on the brink of World War II, this is a spellbinding account of a sports story that united the country and made DiMaggio a hero, at a time when one was profoundly needed. Barb Rosenstock's action-packed text and Terry Widener's powerful illustrations capture DiMaggio's drive as well as his frustration. The book also includes headlines, quotes, stats, and a detailed bibliography.


Booklist

Gr 2–5—Placed within the historical context of the last perfect baseball summer before America's involvement in World War II, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak of 1941 becomes even more impressive. Rosenstock also captures the drama surrounding the feat: how a player from humble beginnings with hands that were used to hard work now held a bat, how DiMaggio named his bat "Betsy Ann" and only used it for games, and how the bat was stolen on the very day he was to break the previously held record. An occasional phrase in bold red type adds to the superhero quality of the story, while the slightly blurred acrylic illustrations make the characters seem as if they were captured in motion, creating a nostalgic effect. Detailed source notes, a lengthy bibliography, and lots of stats round out the presentation.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

"It started quietly, like a conversation with Joe DiMaggio himself." With those words, Rosenstock transports readers to the summer of 1941, when war loomed and DiMaggio set a new MLB record with a 56-game hitting streak, uniting a nation: "This was the United States of Baseball, and Joe DiMaggio was its President." Rosen-stock builds delicious tension and emotion as the streak grows (she also devotes some space to DiMaggio's off-the-field upbringing), and Widener is equally in his element--one can almost feel DiMaggio's baggy Yankee pinstripes rustling as he dashes to first base after yet another hit. Substantial back matter includes stats, bibliography, and an in-depth author's note that covers DiMaggio's relationship with his beloved bat, "Betsy Ann," and offers further context about "the streak" and America's entry into WWII. A rousing and inspiring account of an athletic achievement that has yet to be bested. Ages 8-up. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5--Placed within the historical context of the last perfect baseball summer before America's involvement in World War II, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak of 1941 becomes even more impressive. Rosenstock also captures the drama surrounding the feat: how a player from humble beginnings with hands that were used to hard work now held a bat, how DiMaggio named his bat "Betsy Ann" and only used it for games, and how the bat was stolen on the very day he was to break the previously held record. An occasional phrase in bold red type adds to the superhero quality of the story, while the slightly blurred acrylic illustrations make the characters seem as if they were captured in motion, creating a nostalgic effect. Detailed source notes, a lengthy bibliography, and lots of stats round out the presentation.--Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"With Terry Widener's lovely, fluid paintings, author Barb Rosenstock mixes history, biography and romantic nostalgia." - USA Today
Barb Rosenstock
BARB ROSENSTOCK is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book The Noisy Paint Box; Vincent Can't Sleep; Through the Window; and Mornings with Monet, all also illustrated by Mary GrandPré, as well as many other books. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, sons, and two big poodles. Visit her at BarbRosenstock.com.

ERIKA MEZA is the illustrator of Salsa Lullaby by Jen Arena. She was born in Morelia, in the Mexican state where monarch butterflies go for the winter. She grew up in awe of the phenomenon, and carried the image of the butterfly as a piece of home when she moved to Paris to follow her dream of becoming an author and illustrator. Her themes are born out of the exploration of her migrant essence, her bittersweet relationship with change, and her attachment to innocence and curiosity. She now lives in London. Learn more about Erika at ErikaMeza.com or on Twitter at @ErikaDraws.
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9781590789926
Lexile Measure
640L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Calkins Creek Books
Publication date
March 20, 2014
Series
-
BISAC categories
JNF025210 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/20th Century
JNF054010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Sports & Recreation | Baseball & Softball
JNF007100 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Sports & Recreation
Library of Congress categories
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