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Children's LiteratureThis entry in the reader-friendly "Sports Heroes and Legends" series introduces one of baseball's greatest heroes, the powerful switch-hitter Mickey Mantle. A prologue sets the stage by imparting in chronological order the early training and perseverance it took to excel, and ends with what the author sees as Mantle's legacy to the sport. Boxed quotes from Mantle and coaches, plus interesting facts both of the sport and of his career, are sprinkled throughout the text. Photos grouped at the center of the book cover some highlights of Mantle's career in an era before steroids and other game lay enhancers. In ten chapters with less than 100 pages of text, this paperback-sized hardbound will capture the interest of older readers and satisfy the need for easy-to-read biographies for middle schoolers and upper elementary readers, as well. A rich selection of back matter includes stats, sources for all quotes, bibliography, websites, and an index. 2005, Lerner Sports, Ages 10 to 16.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.