The Acerra family had sixteen children, including twelve ball-playing boys. It was the
1930s, and many families had lots of kids. But only one had enough to field a baseball
team . . . with three on the bench! The Acerras were the longest-playing all-brother
team in baseball history. They loved the game, but more important, they cared for
and supported each other and stayed together as a team. Nothing life threw their way
could stop them.
Full of action, drama, and excitement, this never-before-told true story is vividly
brought to life by Audrey Vernick’s expert storytelling and Steven Salerno’s stunning
About the Author
Audrey Vernick is the author of several picture books as well as the middle grade novel Water Balloon. She lives in Ocean, New Jersey. Please visit her at www.audreyvernick.com.
Steven Salerno has illustrated many picture books, several of which he wrote. This is his first about baseball. He lives in New York City. Visit him at www.stevensalerno.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is about a family baseball team. There were 16 children in the Acerra family and the 12 boys all loved baseball (imagine if 1 didn't!). This book combines the story of their games with the story of a family that was very close and supportive. The father coached the boys and attended all their games. And the Baseball Hall of Fame honored them for being the longest playing all brother team. (In an author note I learned that there had been many others.) You have to read this one. No one could make up a story like this but that's probably just as well. It's the truth that makes this one so special.
I am delighted to see more and more picture book biographies being published. This makes it so much easier to share biographies with younger children. At the same time, picture book biographies have to be carefully done in order to provide enough information without going overboard. I mean how do you provide just enough information to help the reader get an idea of what the person was like, without getting bogged down in details? I firmly believe that it is an art form. Picture books are an art in and of themselves, but picture book biographies require an even more careful hand because the characters are real. Audrey Vernick does a fantastic job of this in Brothers at Bat. Vernick provides enough information to give the reader a taste of what the people are like, without losing her focus on a baseball team made up of only brothers. Sixteen children, twelve of whom were boys, I can only admire their parents. I appreciated the small touches that made the family seem so real, things like the slam, slam, slam of the door as the boys raced out to play. The sharing of beds, the individual portraits that show the familial similarity but also individual differences, all added to the story. The illustrations are gorgeous and appealing. I'm always amazed when illustrators can create faces from a few lines and shapes. Salerno does a great job of this. If you are looking for more great picture book biographies, I highly recommend this one.
Great true story about a local family and their days spent playing professional baseball.