Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me

Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me

4.0 1
by Timothy Tocher
     
 


Fifteen-year-old runaway Hank Cobb hops a freight and discovers Chief Sunrise, "the greatest Indian to ever step on a baseball diamond." At least that's what he says. Chief is determined to try out for John McGraw, famed manager of the 1919 New York Giants, and baseball-crazy Hank decides to tag along. The pair's adventures take them from a dusty baseball lot in… See more details below

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Overview


Fifteen-year-old runaway Hank Cobb hops a freight and discovers Chief Sunrise, "the greatest Indian to ever step on a baseball diamond." At least that's what he says. Chief is determined to try out for John McGraw, famed manager of the 1919 New York Giants, and baseball-crazy Hank decides to tag along. The pair's adventures take them from a dusty baseball lot in Gainesville, Florida, to New York City's famed Polo Grounds, where they track down the great John McGraw, and Chief gets his chance to play in the big leagues. Hank becomes team mascot and ball boy. Most days Hank can't stop smiling, but he still has nightmares about his abusive old man, and Chief seems to be hiding something. A startling climax during an exhibition game at Sing Sing Prison changes everything for Hank and Chief. Rich in period detail, Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me captures all the personalities and excitement that defined baseball in the era of Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In this fast-paced baseball yarn, Hank Cobb, 15, is leading a vagabond existence with his abusive alcoholic father in 1919. When the man gets in trouble again, Hank hops a freight train, but refuses to help his father climb aboard. Inside the boxcar he meets Chief Sunrise, a 19-year-old who introduces himself as "the greatest Indian to ever step on a baseball diamond." The two hit it off and begin a series of adventures together as Chief seeks to meet up with Giants' manager John McGraw. After they arrive in New York, Chief earns a tryout with the team and is hired as a starting pitcher and Hank wins a place as gofer. As the season progresses, Hank eventually discovers Chief's secret: he is actually part African American, passing as a Native American to evade baseball's color line. Tocher presents a deft blend of baseball lore and fiction, and an author's note provides more background on the time period and the real-life figures upon which the characters are based. His treatment of issues of prejudice is sensitive yet the tone remains upbeat. Though discrimination and racial unrest are evident throughout, Chief's motivation is simply to prove that he can compete in the major leagues. The main characters are engaging and the game scenes are particularly vivid. Fans of Dan Gutman's "Baseball Card Adventure" series (HarperCollins) and Walter Dean Myers's The Journal of Biddy Owens (Scholastic, 2001) will welcome this well-written, enjoyable novel.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hank Cobb runs away from an abusive, dangerous father. Hank plans to try out for the New York Giants and their legendary manager, John McGraw. While sneaking a ride in a train's boxcar, he meets another hopeful ballplayer who calls himself Chief Sunrise and claims to be a Seminole Indian. When they finally connect with McGraw, Chief gets his chance and makes the most of it. Hank becomes a batboy and good-luck charm. Hank's father reappears and attempts to blackmail Chief into throwing games. Chief is really Charlie Burns, an African-American who could never play in the big leagues if his heritage were known. Tocher deftly mixes facts with fiction to create a well-constructed tale with strong characters. He is scrupulous in his use of era-appropriate slang and syntax and carefully remains true to time and place in all details. An author's note further explains the racial climate of 1919 as it was reflected in baseball. Engaging and engrossing. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812627114
Publisher:
Cricket Books
Publication date:
05/10/2004
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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