Baseball Saved Us

( 8 )


A Japanese boy discovers hope and self-respect at an internment camp during World War II.

A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.

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A Japanese boy discovers hope and self-respect at an internment camp during World War II.

A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When a Japanese-American boy and his family are interned in a camp during WWII, they decide to combat their depression by building a baseball field. During a game the boy channels his humiliation--both from being a prisoner and from being a bad player--to anger, giving him the strength to hit a game-winning home run.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised the ``stylish prose'' and ``stirring illustrations'' in this tale of a Japanese American boy's confinement in a WWII internment camp. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- After briefly describing the way his family was removed from their home and sent to an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II, the narrator, ``Shorty,'' tells how baseball was used as a diversion from the dire situation in which the camp's inhabitants found themselves. After improvising a baseball diamond, uniforms, and equipment, they played games. In one of these contests, the usually weak-hitting Shorty catches a glimpse of one of the ever-present guards and channels his anger toward the man into his swing, resulting in a winning home run. After the war and his return home, he continues to play ball while at the same time being subjected to racial taunts, again refocusing his anger to produce positive results on the diamond. The sport plays a secondary role to the blatant racism depicted in this somber book. The paintings, scratchboard overlaid with oils, effectively reflect the tone of the story. Pair this powerful title with Hamanaka's The Journey (Orchard, 1990). --Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-During World War II the author's parents were sent to an internment camp in Idaho. That family history led to this poignant story about a young Japanese-American boy in an internment camp and the baseball diamond that gave the internees a purpose in life and a way of passing the time. The young boy's triumph in a game played while in captivity helps him when he returns home and continues his baseball career. The baseball heading over the fence on the last page tugs at the heart of readers as it symbolizes freedom lost, and regained. Author Ken Mochizuki reads his award-winning book (Lee & Low, 1993). There is some soft background music, and a few gentle sound effects, but the power of the words need little embellishment. Young students will be made aware of the overt racism Japanese-Americans faced during this period of history. This treasure of a book is well-treated in this format.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Hazel Rochman
The traditional sports story of the outsider who gains social acceptance when he hits a home run gets a new dimension in this picture book about a Japanese American kid interned in a desert concentration camp during World War II. In a spare, first-person narrative, "Shorty" tells how he and his family are suddenly moved from their home and set down behind barbed wire in a barracks in the desert. His father organizes the building of a baseball field, and, in sight of the armed watchtower guard, Shorty learns to play. After the war, when they return home, things are still bad: at school he has to eat lunch alone, and he still hears "Jap" insults--until he joins the team and whacks the ball right over the fence. Fences and watchtowers are in the background of many of Lee's moving illustrations, some of which were inspired by Ansel Adams' 1943 photographs of Manzanar. In shades of brown, Lee's images evoke the bleak desert isolation, and also the boy's loneliness in the school lunchroom after the war; in contrast is the focus on his close relationship with his father and the warmth of the team. The baseball action will grab kids--and so will the personal experience of bigotry.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780754256
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Sales rank: 784,777
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Excellent book to introduce grade school-age children to Executive Order 9066 and its consequences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Great book

    In BaseBall Saved Us what does Shorty learn from baseball, in the book BaseBall Saved Usa by Ken Kochizuki. This book is about a kid name Sorty who plays baseball in an internment camp.
    In this book the main character Shorty who is bored in an internment camp. He finds a solution for being bored. His dad builds a baseball field in the open field. Then the orginized a league.
    What Shotry learnd from baseball was how to play the game. So, now he can go back home and play with his friends back home. Although the kids back home were bigger then him he was still good. I thought this was a good book becuase, even though Shorty was bored he still got to have fun with the other kids there. It matters so when kids like Shorty are bored they can play sports. I thuink the author wrote the book cause it had something to do with his family. Shortys sullotion was to play baseball with the other kids in the internment camp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    This Book Is Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Baseball Saved Us is about a Japanese boy called Shorty who is living in a Japanese internment camp. The people there are bored so they build a baseball fied to help them cope with their situation.
    In Baseball Saved Us, Shorty is playing baseball. He is not very good at it but he thinks it is better than playing back home. Back home he would face prejudice. Baseball helped Shorty to break the raicial barriers and be accepted.
    In Baseball Saved Us Shorty learns that the more you try, the better you get, and you should never give up. This reminds ne of a batter for the New York Yankees who's name is Robinson Canoe who was bad at batting and who came back next season and hit four Home Runs in the first three weeks. He also hit a two run home run. I think that he and Shorty are very alike.
    This book tells people who are bad at a sport to never give up. Baseball helped him and the Japaneese to fight racism and be accepted. This book is a great book and I recomend this book to all those baseball fans!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2007


    This book is about a boy and his family that get moved into a conservation camp by Americans that thought they couldn¿t trust Japanese Americans because of the bombing on Pearl Harbor. The people within the conservation camp decide to make the camp less depressing by building a baseball field. The reason I liked this book is because it shows some of the real things that happened in World War 2 to Japanese Americans. This is a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    Baseball Saved Us, A make you want to read it review

    Standing there in the hot desert, my dad and I inside a fenced off area with nothing to do, my was thinking of something for me and him to do together while we¿re here. My dad thought that we could build a baseball field because he know¿s that I enjoy playing baseball so we could build a baseball field and then play baseball with all of the other kids in this dad and I grabbed some shovels and started to dig the sagebrush up off then field area. After a while a couple other kids and parennts started to dig to in an hour or so almost everybody pitched in and since so much people were helping so tall the people split up into groups. Some parents took there bed sheets and started to make the uniforms, most of the adults were building the bleachers with some wood they found, and the rest kept on helping dig up the field and putting the bases in the ground. Finally they were done with the field, the paernts were done with the bleachers, and the rest were done with the uniforms. We were now ready to pick teams and start the season. The people here were acually my hieght andthey didn¿t make fun of me for being bad at baseball. We did good in the regular season. We were in the game game to decide the teams that played in the championship game. It¿s the begginig of the game, in the 9th inning the opposing team had the lead. They had scored 3 runs. They had the lead because we had only scored 2 runs. We were up to bat and I was up. There was a guy on 2nd base. The crowd was screaming at me that I was bad so I would be an easy out. I was almost scared enough to fake sick and let somebody else come up to bat so that we would have a better chance to win. I didn¿t fake sick because I thuoght people would make fun of me for being a chicken. The pitcher was ready to pitch. I stepped up to the plate and got set. The pitcher winded up and threw the ball, I swung and I missed. The pitcher winded up and threw the ball, I swung and I missed. The pitcher was very confident that I would strike out because one more stike and I was out. The crowd was so loud I couldn¿t here my own teamates screaming to cheer me on. The pitcher winded up he threw the ball,the ball was coming I waited and swung as hard as I could ¿. Did he hit it or not read the book to find out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2003

    A very good book

    This was a very good book. It correctly displaced the lives of the Japanese prisonineers while telling the story of a boy and baseball.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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