Guide to Juvenile Baseball Books: E

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About as thrilling as it sounds . . . "John Prescott Earl," according to Andy McCue's Baseball by the Books (Dubuque: William C. Brown, 1991: 38), was a pseudonym for Beth Bradford Gilchrist, the biographer of American educator Mary Lyon.

A strange fiction: on the one hand it's an art novella by a highbrow novelist; on the other hand, it's basically a kids' story, and is sometimes shelved in the juvenile section of libraries. Reflects the odd situation of "serious" adult baseball fiction around the year 1950; at the time, there were few models for novelists. In its action and theme, it's a taut, well-written story. Of course by 1950 the speculative aspect of the fiction had somewhat lost its edge … but I've been unable to find an earlier publication for the work.

Gentle picture book that includes athletes and non-athletes alike in the sport experience.

By The Kid Who Only Hit Homers out of Charlotte's Web … it gets perhaps a little fey for its middle-elementary reading level; younger kids might like the story better, but would need it read to them and would miss some of the references.

The Kid from Tomkinsville motif, with an interesting emphasis on baseball economics. Young Cleve Coleman starts his pro career as a total mercenary, but the vicissitudes of his rookie season turn him into a veteran who plays for the love of the game.

A mannered and implausible story redeemed by the wholesome message that kids can learn a lot from their elders.