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Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team



by
Audrey Vernick
illustrated by
Steven Salerno

Edition
Reinforced trade edition
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Imprint
Clarion
ISBN
9780547385570

Awards and Honors
Booklist Top 10 Sports Books for Youth: 2012; The New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2012, Picture Books; Booklist Editors’ Choice Books for Youth, 2012: Nonfiction, Young Readers; Bulletin Blue Ribbon 2012, Nonfiction; NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013, History/Life & Culture in the Americas
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QTY
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All summer, the door slammed as the twelve Acerra brothers ran out to play baseball. Their all-brother team drew crowds until six left to fight in World War II. Author’s note. Artist’s note. Full-color illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

9 1/2" x 10"

Dewey

796.35709749

AR

4.4: points 0.5

Lexile

AD710L

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Jun 2012

Topics

Acerras baseball team. U.S. history of baseball teams. Brothers. New Jersey. Biography.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Here’s a fun and true story to start out the baseball season. Vernick relates the history of the Acerra family’s 16 children, consisting of 12 boys who formed their own semiprofessional baseball team in Long Branch, NJ, during the 1930s. Their dad was their coach and biggest fan. The team is honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame for being the all-time longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. The author exhibits good humor by pointing out individual boys’ distinguishing characteristics such as Charlie, the slow runner who “hit a ball nearly out of the park, but only made it to second.” There is a retro feel to Salerno’s illustrations done in black crayon, gouache, watercolor, and pastel, with digital color added. Shades of green, blue, and turquoise augment the outdoor scenes. Readers will laugh out loud as they spot one brother out the bedroom window at night running with toilet paper in hand to their three-seater outhouse. This story sends out positive vibes of a family who sticks together, yet couples the tale with sorrowful times as well. A delight not to miss.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Horn Book

Surprisingly, from the 1860s to the 1940s, there were at least twenty-nine baseball teams made up of brothers playing every position, and the Acerra family from Long Branch, New Jersey, played together longer than any other. The Acerras had sixteen children—twelve boys to eventually field the teams, and four girls who didn’t play ball. (As the third-person narrator explains, “Back then, most people thought sports were just for boys.”) The Acerras’ high school had an Acerra on the team for twenty-two straight years, and in 1938, the oldest nine boys created their own semi-pro team, coached by their father, and played against other New Jersey teams. When World War II came along, six of the brothers went off to fight, and all came back safely to return to baseball and to raise families. In 1997, the seven Acerra players still living were honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame, with some of their memorabilia displayed “right there in the same museum that honored Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Willie Mays.” This story of a real American family whose bond was the game is brought to vivid life through illustrations created with black crayon, gouache, watercolor, and pastel. The heavy crayon lines, a digitally enhanced palette alive with blues and greens, and beautifully designed pages capture the feel of this slice of American history.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Here’s a fun and true story to start out the baseball season. Vernick relates the history of the Acerra family’s 16 children, consisting of 12 boys who formed their own semiprofessional baseball team in Long Branch, NJ, during the 1930s. Their dad was their coach and biggest fan. The team is honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame for being the all-time longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. The author exhibits good humor by pointing out individual boys’ distinguishing characteristics such as Charlie, the slow runner who “hit a ball nearly out of the park, but only made it to second.” There is a retro feel to Salerno’s illustrations done in black crayon, gouache, watercolor, and pastel, with digital color added. Shades of green, blue, and turquoise augment the outdoor scenes. Readers will laugh out loud as they spot one brother out the bedroom window at night running with toilet paper in hand to their three-seater outhouse. This story sends out positive vibes of a family who sticks together, yet couples the tale with sorrowful times as well. A delight not to miss.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Horn Book

Surprisingly, from the 1860s to the 1940s, there were at least twenty-nine baseball teams made up of brothers playing every position, and the Acerra family from Long Branch, New Jersey, played together longer than any other. The Acerras had sixteen children—twelve boys to eventually field the teams, and four girls who didn’t play ball. (As the third-person narrator explains, “Back then, most people thought sports were just for boys.”) The Acerras’ high school had an Acerra on the team for twenty-two straight years, and in 1938, the oldest nine boys created their own semi-pro team, coached by their father, and played against other New Jersey teams. When World War II came along, six of the brothers went off to fight, and all came back safely to return to baseball and to raise families. In 1997, the seven Acerra players still living were honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame, with some of their memorabilia displayed “right there in the same museum that honored Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Willie Mays.” This story of a real American family whose bond was the game is brought to vivid life through illustrations created with black crayon, gouache, watercolor, and pastel. The heavy crayon lines, a digitally enhanced palette alive with blues and greens, and beautifully designed pages capture the feel of this slice of American history.

Grades 2-6
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