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The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America's Hero

Overview

The Streak tells the riveting story of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, his favorite bat, Betsy Ann, and the longest hitting streak in baseball history. As part of the storied New York Yankees, DiMaggio hit throughout the 1941 season and kept hitting for 56 straight games—a sports story that united the country on the brink of World War II. DiMaggio's Streak is widely regarded as the greatest unbroken sports record in history. His fame immortalized, he became the hero that Americans needed. The book includes an ...

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Overview

The Streak tells the riveting story of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, his favorite bat, Betsy Ann, and the longest hitting streak in baseball history. As part of the storied New York Yankees, DiMaggio hit throughout the 1941 season and kept hitting for 56 straight games—a sports story that united the country on the brink of World War II. DiMaggio's Streak is widely regarded as the greatest unbroken sports record in history. His fame immortalized, he became the hero that Americans needed. The book includes an author’s note; statistics from DiMaggio's 1941 regular season, his Streak, and his lifetime; a detailed bibliography; and source notes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 02/10/2014
“It started quietly, like a conversation with Joe DiMaggio himself.” With those words, Rosenstock transports readers to the summer of 1941, when war loomed and DiMaggio set a new MLB record with a 56-game hitting streak, uniting a nation: “This was the United States of Baseball, and Joe DiMaggio was its President.” Rosen-stock builds delicious tension and emotion as the streak grows (she also devotes some space to DiMaggio’s off-the-field upbringing), and Widener is equally in his element—one can almost feel DiMaggio’s baggy Yankee pinstripes rustling as he dashes to first base after yet another hit. Substantial back matter includes stats, bibliography, and an in-depth author’s note that covers DiMaggio’s relationship with his beloved bat, “Betsy Ann,” and offers further context about “the streak” and America’s entry into WWII. A rousing and inspiring account of an athletic achievement that has yet to be bested. Ages 8–up. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

* "Rosenstock transports readers to the summer of 1941, when war loomed and DiMaggio set a new MLB record with a 56-game hitting streak, uniting a nation. . . Rosenstock builds delicious tension and emotion as the streak grows. . . and Widener is equally in his element--one can almost feel DiMaggio's baggy Yankee pinstripes rustling as he dashes to first base after yet another hit. . . A rousing and inspiring account of an athletic achievement that has yet to be bested." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak is considered one of the greatest feats in baseball and the one least likely to be replicated. . . Rosenstock's game descriptions capture the momentum and let readers see and feel the events as if they were at the games. . . Widener's expansive, double-page illustrations, rendered in acrylic on bristol paper, in earth tones of green and gold, are larger than life, elongating DiMaggio as he takes his stance, rounds the bases or grips his bat. . . DiMaggio's remarkable hitting streak is freshly presented for a new generation of fans." --Kirkus Reviews

"Rosenstock cranks up the significance of DiMaggio's 56-game, as yet unbeaten hitting streak, in 1941. She does this through a dramatic season recap with the rising game numbers in red, and by taking note of the war tensions that heightened in parallel that summer. Joltin' Joe's game bat, nicknamed Betsy Ann, practically becomes another character, and the tale of its theft and recovery midcourse further raises the suspense. Widener, who has illustrated a number of picture books about great baseball players of the past, supplies green-and-gold acrylic action scenes featuring both the lanky batter and, often, contemporary newspaper headlines about the streak and the war. . . " --Booklist

"Placed within the historical context of the last perfect baseball summer before America's involvement in World War II, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak of 1941 becomes even more impressive. Rosenstock also captures the drama surrounding the feat: how a player from humble beginnings with hands that were used to hard work now held a bat, how DiMaggio named his bat "Betsy Ann" and only used it for games, and how the bat was stolen on the very day he was to break the previously held record. An occasional phrase in bold red type adds to the superhero quality of the story, while the slightly blurred acrylic illustrations make the characters seem as if they were captured in motion, creating a nostalgic effect. Detailed souce notes, a lengthy bibliography, and lots of stats round out the presentation." --School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rosenstock tells the suspense-filled story of Joe DiMaggio’s amazing hitting streak as the spreading war in Europe distracted the country. Starting quietly with a single to left field on May 15, 1941 in a losing game, the streak continues game after game, week after week. With his treasured bat, “Betsy Ann,” DiMaggio raises the number of games in which he hits until he ties the previous record of 41 in June. Then suddenly, in the second game, Betsy Ann disappears. Is his streak dead? With a borrowed bat, Joe manages a hit. He is “America’s hero.” Betsy Ann is finally found; DiMaggio’s streak goes to 56 games as the Yankees win the World Series. Widener uses acrylic paints to produce double-page scenes focusing on DiMaggio’s effectiveness as baseball player, particularly as a hitter. Naturalistic images demonstrate his skills rather than produce a sequential narrative. A scene of DiMaggio at rest in the locker room portrays his character as more than just a “slugger.” Notes add information about the streak, give sources for the many included quotations, include other statistics, and add a bibliography. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 7 to 10.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 2–5—Placed within the historical context of the last perfect baseball summer before America's involvement in World War II, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak of 1941 becomes even more impressive. Rosenstock also captures the drama surrounding the feat: how a player from humble beginnings with hands that were used to hard work now held a bat, how DiMaggio named his bat "Betsy Ann" and only used it for games, and how the bat was stolen on the very day he was to break the previously held record. An occasional phrase in bold red type adds to the superhero quality of the story, while the slightly blurred acrylic illustrations make the characters seem as if they were captured in motion, creating a nostalgic effect. Detailed source notes, a lengthy bibliography, and lots of stats round out the presentation.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-22
Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak is considered one of the greatest feats in baseball and the one least likely to be replicated. Everyone expected Joltin' Joe to pound out the hits, but as the consecutive games mounted up, the excitement built as well. The year 1941 was a difficult time, and people needed something to cheer about. "That one perfect summer" was the last summer of peacetime. All eyes were on DiMaggio each time he came to bat, and newspaper headlines screamed the daily tally. Rosenstock's game descriptions capture the momentum and let readers see and feel the events as if they were at the games. Along with play-by-play for some of the key hits, there's some fascinating information about DiMaggio's proud and determined character, as well as some lesser-known events. His favorite bat, "Betsy Ann," was stolen during the streak, later recovered and then broken. Widener's expansive, double-page illustrations, rendered in acrylic on bristol paper, in earth tones of green and gold, are larger than life, elongating DiMaggio as he takes his stance, rounds the bases or grips his bat. Each occurrence of the hit count and the word "streak" stands out from the rest of the text in heavy red display type. DiMaggio's remarkable hitting streak is freshly presented for a new generation of fans. (afterword, author's note, statistics, source notes, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590789926
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 482,935
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: NC730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Barb Rosenstock is the author of several award-winning nonfiction titles, including: Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith; The Littlest Mountain, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book; and The Camping Trip that Changed America, a Parents' Choice silver medal book and one of Booklist's Top 10 Books on the Environment for Youth. She lives outside Chicago with her family. Visit barbrosenstock.com.

Terry Widener is the award-winning illustrator of more than thirty children’s books, including Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, The Babe and I, a California Young Reader Gold Medal Award, and America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and ALA Notable Children’s Book. He lives with his wife in Texas. Visit terrywidenerart.com.

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