The Brooklyn Nine

The Brooklyn Nine

4.0 12
by Alan Gratz
     
 

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Baseball is in the Schneider family blood. Each member of this family, from family founder Felix Schneider in the 1800s to Snider Flint in the present day, has a strong tie to the game and to Brooklyn. Through the years this family has dodged bullets on a battlefield, pitched perfect games, and dealt with the devastating loss of family and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nine… See more details below

Overview

Baseball is in the Schneider family blood. Each member of this family, from family founder Felix Schneider in the 1800s to Snider Flint in the present day, has a strong tie to the game and to Brooklyn. Through the years this family has dodged bullets on a battlefield, pitched perfect games, and dealt with the devastating loss of family and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nine inningsùnine generations. One gameùone family. Through it all, one thing remains true: the bonds of family are as strong as a love of the game.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The love of baseball links nine generations of the Schneider/Snider/Flint family in this story collection that tracks the national pastime from the 1840s to the present day. It's an ambitious work of research, weaving authentic details about the evolution of the sport into stories about nine fictional young people with baseball in their DNA. Louis Schneider carries his father's treasured souvenir baseball into battle during the Civil War (Abner Doubleday makes a cameo), trading it for an original Louisville Slugger from a wounded rebel. The bat then plays a role in his son's misplaced worship of a fading legend. Another descendant has his illusions shattered when the hometown team is unmasked as racist. Girls are represented, too: one leaves Brooklyn to play for the Grand Rapids Chicks during World War II. These are not sports stories so much as historical fiction built around a theme, and though billed as a "novel in nine innings," there's no real narrative tension pulling the reader forward. But baseball fans will find satisfying glimpses of the game as it has been played in its various incarnations. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Partly a history of baseball and partly a history of a family, this book is told in a series of sections. Each focuses on a particular person in one family's generations, starting with ten-year-old Felix Schneider in 1845. Baseball was a different game in Felix's time than it is today, and the rules were changing. After witnessing a massive fire that destroyed large sections of Manhattan, Felix makes a baseball from what's left of the shoes he'd brought from Germany. He marks it with an "S" for Schneider. His son, Louis Schneider, takes up the story during the Civil War; he brought along his father's baseball for good luck. He is an underage soldier for the Brooklyn Fourteenth Army Brigade in Spotsylvania, Virginia, where he meets a newly blinded southern soldier about his own age. Louis trades his ball for the rebel soldier's beautifully crafted baseball bat. We also meet Arnold Schneider in 1894; Walter Snider (the name has been Americanized) in 1908; Frankie Snider in 1926; his daughter Kat, who plays professional ball during World War II; her son, Jimmy Flint, in 1957; Michael Flint, who pitches a perfect game in a 1981 Little League game; and, finally, Snider Flint in 2002. Although this is a fun read for baseball lovers, I was disappointed by the lack of in-depth discussion of both baseball history and general history for each era. I was also disappointed that Snider, when he finds the baseball marked with an "S," never makes the connection to his ancestor. The characters were very sketchily drawn. The baseball facts were interesting, especially those related to how the rules of the popular game have changed. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

In loosely connected chapters, Gratz examines how one Brooklyn family is affected by the game of baseball. Ten-year-old German immigrant Felix Schneider arrives in America in the mid-19th century and uses his speed to good advantage both on the ball field and as a runner delivering the goods his uncle, a cloth cutter, produces. His fortunes and his family's take a turn for the worse, however, when his legs are badly injured in the great Manhattan fire of 1845 (where he encounters volunteer firefighter Alexander Cartwright, the father of modern baseball). Subsequent "innings" deal with Felix's son, Louis, who has compassion for a Confederate soldier because of their shared love of baseball; Walter Snider, a Brooklyn Superbas batboy who secures a tryout for legendary Negro Leagues star Cyclone Joe Williams and discovers the ugliness of anti-Semitism and racial prejudice; and Jimmy Flint, a 10-year-old in 1957, who worries about the class bully, Sputnik, nuclear annihilation-and the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. Curiously, the author passes over the team's glory years from the late 1940s to the mid-'50s. For the working-class Schneider/Snider family, baseball is an important part of their history, but it does little to mitigate the gritty reality of their lives. Economic uncertainty, prejudice, and the threat of violence are ever-present concerns, and the accurate, tough-minded depiction of these issues is the novel's greatest strength.-Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT

Kirkus Reviews
Nearly nine generations span the years from Alexander Cartwright's 1840s Knickerbocker Base Ball days to the present, and Gratz places a young character from a fictional family of Brooklynites in each, threading their stories together with the development of the American bat and ball game. Abner Doubleday makes a very brief appearance at a Union Army camp (even as the author discredits the myth that Doubleday founded modern baseball). An eager batboy from the Brooklyn Superbas persuades a talented Negro player to come to a tryout as an American Indian-and loses his love for his team when it's clear that no one on the team will give Cyclone "Smoky" Joe Williams (later described as the best pitcher in any league) a chance to play. John Kiernan, the legendary journalist and facts man, lends a hand to a young numbers runner following a Brooklyn Robins game in the 1930s. The fictional voice is sure and engaging, polished without being slick-an entertaining and compelling look at the deep roots of our national pastime. (author's notes) (Historical fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101014806
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
03/05/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
237,944
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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