Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream

Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl's Baseball Dream

by Crystal Hubbard, Randy DuBurke
     
 

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If there was anything in the world better than playing baseball, Marcenia Lyle didn't know what it was. As a young girl in the 1930s, she chased down fly balls and stole bases, and dreamed of one day playing professional ball.

With spirit, spunk, and a great passion for the sport, Marcenia struggled to overcome the objections of family, friends, and coaches, who

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Overview

If there was anything in the world better than playing baseball, Marcenia Lyle didn't know what it was. As a young girl in the 1930s, she chased down fly balls and stole bases, and dreamed of one day playing professional ball.

With spirit, spunk, and a great passion for the sport, Marcenia struggled to overcome the objections of family, friends, and coaches, who felt a girl had no place in the field. When she finally won a position in a baseball summer camp sponsored by the St. Louis Cardinals, Marcenia was on her way to catching her dream.

Full of warmth and youthful energy, Catching the Moon is the story of the girl who grew up to become the first woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team. Readers everywhere will be inspired by her courage to dream and determination to succeed.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Author Crystal Hubbard hits one out of the ballpark with Catching the Moon. Young Marcenia Lyle loves baseball but her dream of being a professional ballplayer seems as unreachable as the white orb outside her window at night. In the 1930s, the only jobs available to African American women are teacher, nurse and maid, according to her parents, who worry about their daughter's tomboy ways. But Marcenia keeps playing and even convinces Mr. Gabby Street, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, that she be allowed to attend his boys-only baseball camp. The book ends with the happy girl feeling that "she had reached right up in the sky and caught the moon in her glove." An afterword reveals that Marcenia Lyle, under the name Toni Stone, became the first female member of an all-male baseball team. A great read-aloud for February's African American History Month, this tribute to the power of dreams is further enhanced by Randy DuBurke's engaging pictures of energetic Marcenia. 2005, Lee and Low, Ages 5 up.
—Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This anecdotal tale is based on the childhood of Marcenia "Toni Stone" Lyle Alberga (1921-1996), who became the first woman to play professional baseball. As a girl, Marcenia dreams only of playing baseball, while her strict but loving parents suggest that she stick to dolls and focus on school. One night she overhears them ruefully acknowledge the limited options that lie in store for most African-American girls: teaching, nursing, or being a maid. Marcenia promises herself that she'll achieve her goal. Opportunity arrives in the form of Gabby Street, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, who runs a free baseball camp for kids. He's impressed by her talent, but doesn't allow girls to participate. The story ends with her acceptance into the camp and her determination to make her dream come true. An afterword sums up Lyle's name change and her career, including the fact that she filled the spot vacated by Hank Aaron when he joined the Major Leagues. Hubbard's lively text does a fine job of capturing this young heroine's unquenchable spirit. DuBurke's balanced pen-and-ink and acrylic artwork strongly supports the mood and emotion of the text. Much like its winsome, pigtailed heroine, this heartwarming picture book will inspire and engage dreamers young and old.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Marcenia Lyle wants to be a professional baseball player. But as an African-American female in the 1930s, she has many strikes against her. Her parents are loving, but realistic about her limited options. When the St. Louis Cardinals manager Gabby Street forms a boys' baseball day camp, he refuses to consider allowing her to join. However, Marcenia dazzles him with her daring and skill until he agrees to let her join and even supplies the baseball shoes she lacks. Hubbard ends the account at that point. Choosing to present a vignette, a small moment, can be effective, but here Hubbard leaves the reader hanging and it's not until the afterword that the reader learns the facts of Marcenia's real life as the first female player on a professional baseball team. While Duburke's acrylic illustrations beautifully enhance the text, this format just does not seem the right choice for Marcenia's story, one that could have been better told as a picture-book biography. (Picture book. 6-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584302438
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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