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Becoming Babe Ruth



written and illustrated by
Matt Tavares

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Candlewick
Imprint
Candlewick
ISBN
9780763656461

Awards and Honors
BooklistTop 10 Books for Youth 2013, Biographies; Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2013, Sports
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
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QTY
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Before he was “the Babe,” George Ruth was constantly in trouble. After being shipped off to boarding school, George straightened out and discovered baseball. Author’s note. Babe Ruth’s pitching and hitting statistics. Bibliography. Full-color watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

9 3/4" x 11 13/16"

Dewey

796.357/092

AR

4.1: points 0.5

Lexile

AD810L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Apr 2013

Book Genres


Topics

George Herman "Babe" Ruth (1895-1948). Baltimore, Maryland. Reform school. Baseball. Nicknames. Boston Red Sox. New York Yankees. Fame.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Tavares features the “Sultan of Swat” in this picture-book biography. When George Herman Ruth was seven years old, his father sent him away to a reformatory to keep him out of trouble. At the end of the school day, when all the schoolwork was done, he was taught to play baseball by Father Matthias. Ruth began his career at age 16 when he signed a contract to play for the then minor-league Baltimore Orioles. Characteristic of Tavares’s attractive painterly style, the watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations stand out with their action-packed scenes, dramatic angles, and the full-spread portrait of Ruth. An author’s note explains that there was no television in the 1920s, so fans relied on radio sportscasters for the colorful descriptions and exciting stories of Babe Ruth and his rise from rags to riches. Because this is the author’s tribute to a great player, there is no mention of the sadder aspects of Babe’s later life. Readers, both baseball fans and others, will enjoy this story of the athlete’s gratitude and thankfulness for learning his lifetime sport.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Horn Book

Is there a bigger baseball fan in the children’s literature world than Matt Tavares? His sixth book on the subject profiles the iconic George Herman “Babe” Ruth, with Tavares shining a light on the flamboyant slugger’s charitable side. In Baltimore at the turn of the twentieth century, young George’s delinquent ways land him at Saint Mary’s, a local industrial boarding school. There he meets Brother Matthias, whose majestic home runs in the schoolyard enthrall young George. Matthias tirelessly coaches George on the baseball fundamentals, and soon George leaves school and becomes “the Babe,” capturing the imagination of the American public with his booming home runs and even bigger personality. But when a fire destroys his old school, Ruth shows that he hasn’t forgotten his roots: he invites the Saint Mary’s band on a Yankees road trip, helping to raise money to rebuild the school. Tavares expertly conveys Ruth’s charm through his mixed-media illustrations—the boyish grin, the huge appetite (one humorous spread features Ruth in front of an outlandish spread at a restaurant), the love of the game he played so well. Tavares brings the well-paced story to a nice close as the now-world-famous Babe returns to Saint Mary’s to put on an impromptu slugging exhibition for the boys, similar to the ones Brother Matthias gave that so enchanted George as a boy. It’s a lovely, poignant ending to a standout sports picture book biography. Appended with an author’s note, baseball stats, and a bibliography. sam bloom

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Tavares features the “Sultan of Swat” in this picture-book biography. When George Herman Ruth was seven years old, his father sent him away to a reformatory to keep him out of trouble. At the end of the school day, when all the schoolwork was done, he was taught to play baseball by Father Matthias. Ruth began his career at age 16 when he signed a contract to play for the then minor-league Baltimore Orioles. Characteristic of Tavares’s attractive painterly style, the watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations stand out with their action-packed scenes, dramatic angles, and the full-spread portrait of Ruth. An author’s note explains that there was no television in the 1920s, so fans relied on radio sportscasters for the colorful descriptions and exciting stories of Babe Ruth and his rise from rags to riches. Because this is the author’s tribute to a great player, there is no mention of the sadder aspects of Babe’s later life. Readers, both baseball fans and others, will enjoy this story of the athlete’s gratitude and thankfulness for learning his lifetime sport.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Horn Book

Is there a bigger baseball fan in the children’s literature world than Matt Tavares? His sixth book on the subject profiles the iconic George Herman “Babe” Ruth, with Tavares shining a light on the flamboyant slugger’s charitable side. In Baltimore at the turn of the twentieth century, young George’s delinquent ways land him at Saint Mary’s, a local industrial boarding school. There he meets Brother Matthias, whose majestic home runs in the schoolyard enthrall young George. Matthias tirelessly coaches George on the baseball fundamentals, and soon George leaves school and becomes “the Babe,” capturing the imagination of the American public with his booming home runs and even bigger personality. But when a fire destroys his old school, Ruth shows that he hasn’t forgotten his roots: he invites the Saint Mary’s band on a Yankees road trip, helping to raise money to rebuild the school. Tavares expertly conveys Ruth’s charm through his mixed-media illustrations—the boyish grin, the huge appetite (one humorous spread features Ruth in front of an outlandish spread at a restaurant), the love of the game he played so well. Tavares brings the well-paced story to a nice close as the now-world-famous Babe returns to Saint Mary’s to put on an impromptu slugging exhibition for the boys, similar to the ones Brother Matthias gave that so enchanted George as a boy. It’s a lovely, poignant ending to a standout sports picture book biography. Appended with an author’s note, baseball stats, and a bibliography. sam bloom

Grades 2-6
Sports Elementary Plus
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