CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 1 . . . . September 3, 2004
It is the early 1900's, and Rosie's family has moved from New York to Chicago. She hasn't been very successful at making friends and doesn't enjoy her girl's school which is ruled over by horrible Hannah. The one thing she does enjoy is her job at her father's nickelodeon where she works disguised as a boy. Since she has the clothes, when her brother's baseball team, the Chavarims, loses its best player, they are able to convince their father to allow her to play in disguise since she plays as well as the boys. This game, between the Russian Jewish team and the Tigers, a team of German Jews, is tense to begin with, and it does not help to throw a girl into the mix, especially when Hannah shows up and becomes very interested in "Roy," the newest player on her brother's team. It is not until an outstanding play results in a tumble that removes her hat, revealing the braid underneath, that Hannah's true identity is revealed. Hannah's father is filming the game as well, putting his own interests in jeopardy.
In this, the second story about Rosie, the story is well-paced and explains the baseball clearly but doesn't require readers to be fans of the game. Historical fiction fans will be drawn to the characters, the setting and lifestyles of Hannah and her family. Girls will be very interested in the limitations placed on their counterparts in the early twentieth century, leading to interesting discussion points. This book will be popular with readers looking for an accessible book featuring a strong female character. Play Ball! also leads neatly into the next book into the series.
Betsy Fraser is the Young Adult librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.