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Baseball: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about baseball is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Joltin' Joe DiMaggio to Take Me Out to the Ball Game there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about baseball? Let us know!

Joltin' Joe DiMaggio book
#1
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio
Written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

It's a long book but I found it really entertaining. It kept me interested throughout and I learned quite a few things about Joe DiMaggio, the Yankees, America, and baseball history.

Bestselling author Jonah Winter and award-winning illustrator James E. Ransome knock it out of the park with this tribute to one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived, Joe DiMaggio. In the golden age of baseball, sports announcers ruled the radio, winning and losing was front-page news, and just about every young boy wanted to grow up to wear Yankee pinstripes, including Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr., a first generation Italian from San Francisco. “Baseball is not a job,” said young Joe’s dad, but through hard work and dedication, Joe grew up to make headlines as a top centerfielder and ace hitter—Joltin’ Joe, the Yankee Clipper. And when the paychecks started rolling in and the newspaper reporters wouldn’t stop calling, you can bet Pop was mighty proud! During the Depression and WWII the country needed something to cheer for, and Joe was the star player who outshone the rest, even marrying movie star Marilyn Monroe—all by keeping his mouth shut and his eye on the ball.

Elly and the Smelly Sneaker book
#2
Elly and the Smelly Sneaker
Written by Leslie Gorin and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this twist on "Cinderella," Lefty Lou, designated fairy godfather pinch-hitting for the fairy godmother, fulfills a proper young lady's greatest wish--to play on a baseball team.

The Boys book
#3
The Boys
Written and illustrated by Jeff Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A shy boy, seeking the courage to play baseball with the other children in a park, is coaxed out of his shell by some "old timers" sitting nearby who, in turn, discover they are still in the game.

Teammates book
#4
Teammates
Written by Peter Golenbock and illustrated by Paul Bacon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This is the moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a Major League baseball team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate. Illustrated with a blend of historic photographs and eloquent watercolors by Paul Bacon.

Bats at the Ballgame book
#5
Bats at the Ballgame
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

On deck and ready for the spring lineup, New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies's ode to "batty" baseball fans. Hurry up! Come one--come all! We're off to watch the bats play ball! You think humans are the only ones who enjoy America's national pastime? Grab your bat--the other kind--and your mitt, because it's a whole new ballgame when evening falls and bats come fluttering from the rafters to watch their all-stars compete. Get set to be transported to the right-side-up and upside-down world of bats at play, as imagined and illustrated by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Lies.

  1. Take Me Out to the Yakyu - You may know that baseball is the Great American Pastime, but did you know that it is also a beloved sport in Japan? Come along with one little boy and his grandfathers, one in America and one in Japan, as he learns about baseball and its rich, varying cultural traditions. This debut picture book from Aaron Meshon is a home run—don’t be surprised if the vivid illustrations and energetic text leave you shouting, “LET’S PLAY YAKYU!”

  2. Curveball - In the fifth book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, Derek spends the summer with his grandparents in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. Sometimes, you were looking for role models. And sometimes, you were being one yourself. Derek is having the best summer yet! Fun on the lake with his cousins, baseball, and a visit from his best friend, Dave: what more could he ask for? It gets even better when Derek gets to go to a Yankees game and meets a bunch of kids who play ball near the stadium, and they’re good. Awesome, actually, especially Jumbo and Tiny. Derek can’t wait to introduce them to Dave, but Grandma says if he wants to go to another Yankees game, he’ll have to earn some of the money for tickets himself. This means spending quality time with Grandpa mowing lawns and learning the meaning of hard work. Derek brings Dave to meet Tiny and Jumbo, whom Derek admires. But when Jumbo tries to convince Derek to do something he’s sure will get him in trouble, Derek has to rethink who his role models are.

  3. I Am Jackie Robinson - A Black History Month-timed entry in the best-selling series follows the heroic story of baseball star Jackie Robinson, describing, in text and comic thought bubbles, his childhood, early ambitions and barrier-breaking achievements. By the best-selling author of Heroes for My Son.

  4. The William Hoy Story - All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires' calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William "Dummy" Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!

Charlie Takes His Shot book
#10
Charlie Takes His Shot
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by John Joven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.

Goodbye, Mr. Spalding book
#11
Goodbye, Mr. Spalding
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Robin Barr
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Set in Philadelphia during the Great Depression, this middle-grade historical novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his best friend as they attempt to stop a wall from being built at Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics, that would block the view of the baseball field from their rooftops. In 1930s Philadelphia, twelve-year-old Jimmy Frank and his best friend Lola live across the street from Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team. Their families and others on the street make extra money by selling tickets to bleachers on their flat rooftops, which have a perfect view of the field. However, falling ticket sales at the park prompt the manager and park owner to decide to build a wall that will block the view. Jimmy and Lola come up with a variety of ways to prevent the wall from being built, knowing that not only will they miss the view, but their families will be impacted from the loss of income. As Jimmy becomes more and more desperate to save their view, his dubious plans create a rift between him and Lola, and he must work to repair their friendship.

Yogi book
#12
Yogi
Written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Terry Widener
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The life and famous words, such as "it ain't over till it's over," of Major League Baseball player and New York Yankee Lawrence "Yogi" Berra are celebrated in this nonfiction picture book. Yogi Berra loved his family, his neighborhood, his friends, and, most of all, baseball. He was crazy for it, ever since he was a young kid playing with friends in an abandoned dump. But baseball didn't love him back--at least not at first. Yogi was different. He didn't have the right look. When he finally made it to the major leagues, Yogi faced pranks and harassment from players, sportswriters, and fans. Their words hurt, but they made Yogi determined to show all that he could do. Author Barb Rosenstock's dynamic text and illustrator Terry Widener's powerful artwork reveal the talents, loves, and inspirational words of this celebrated New York Yankee and American icon, who earned a World Series ring for each finger and made baseball love him back.

Ellie Steps Up to the Plate book
#13
Ellie Steps Up to the Plate
Written by Callie Barkley and illustrated by Tracy Bishop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

When Ellie joins a softball team, she quickly realizes that the sport is harder than it looks! Is she meant only for the stage, not the field? And what happens when Ellie goes in search of a stray ball in the nearby and finds an injured baby deer? Illustrations.

Smarty Marty's Got Game book
#14
Smarty Marty's Got Game
Written by Amy Gutierrez and illustrated by Adam McCauley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mikey thinks baseball is boring until he attends a game with his sister, who explains the strategy, positions, and rules of the game.

  1. Marshfield Dreams - The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph's classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just "scuttlebutt." But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun--from making tripods in the woods and "snicking" up the rug to raising chicks and even discovering a meteor (well, maybe). It doesn't feel like there's life beyond Marshfield, Massachusetts. Then one day Dad's new job moves the family to Chicago, and there's so much Ralph has to leave behind. In this humorous and captivating memoir, Ralph Fletcher traces the roots of his storytelling.

  2. Barbed Wire Baseball - Traces the childhood dream of Japanese-American baseball pioneer Kenichi Zenimura of playing professionally and his family's struggles in a World War II internment camp where he introduces baseball to raise hope.

  3. Team Players - Cassie must learn that you can’t “fix” someone else after a girl with Aspergers joins her softball team in the fourth and final book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sports-writing legend Mike Lupica. Cassie Bennett is great at being in charge. She always knows what to do to lead her teams to victory, keep her many groups of friends together, or fix any problem that comes her way. So when Sarah Milligan, an autistic girl with unreal softball skills, joins Cassie’s team, Cassie’s sure she can help her fit in with the team. But before long it’s obvious that being around so many people is really hard for Sarah, and the more Cassie tries to reach out and involve her, the more Sarah pushes her away, sometimes literally. It doesn’t help that Cassie’s teammates aren’t as interested in helping Sarah as they are in making sure they make it to the new softball All-Star Tournament that’ll be televised just like the Little League World Series. Soon no one besides Cassie seems to even want Sarah on the team anymore, and the harder Cassie tries to bring everyone together, the worse things seem to get. Cassie Bennett never backs down from a challenge, but can she realize that maybe the challenge isn’t fixing a problem in someone else, but in herself? Or will her stubbornness lead her to lose more than just softball games?

  4. The Rhino in Right Field - A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

Baseball Is . . . book
#19
Baseball Is . . .
Written by Louise Borden and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The ultimate celebration of an all-American sport, this picture book captures the joy and the history of baseball—and knocks it out of the park! Don’t wait for Opening Day to start your baseball season! Crack open Baseball Is… and revel in the fun of this all-American game! Perfect for the stats-counting superfan and the brand-new little leaguer, Baseball Is… captures the spirit of this cherished pastime, honoring its legendary past, and eagerly anticipating the future of the sport that is “stitched into our history.”

Anybody's Game book
#20
Anybody's Game
Written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Cecilia Puglesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname “Tubby.” She made the team—and inspired future generations. An inspiring and suspenseful story about what it means to want to do something so badly you’re willing to break the rules—and how, sometimes, breaking the rules can lead to change.

Double Play book
#21
Double Play
Written by Sara Cassidy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Allie loves baseball. It's the one thing that has been consistent in her lately complicated life. Allie's father left recently, and now Allie has a new family -- her mother's new girlfriend, Phyllis, and son Miles have moved in. It's taking some adjustment, mostly because Miles seems determined to get under her skin. Things start looking up when Allie gets invited to join the boy's baseball team as their new pitcher. But then Miles announces he's quitting the boy's team and tries out for Allie's old team -- a girl's team! Allie is sure he's doing it just to annoy her, but Miles insists that he just likes the girl's style of play better. As Allie struggles to find her place on the boy's team, she starts to see that Miles is just trying to fit in as well, and that it may be even harder for him than it has been for her.

Let's Play Baseball book
#22
Let's Play Baseball
Written and illustrated by Nancy Hall
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-99

Let’s play ball! Learn all about baseball with this shaped board book that looks and feels like a real baseball! Perfect for anyone who wants to get their child started early, Let’s Play Baseball teaches little ones the basic terms of the game. Shaped like a baseball, the book also features a textured, padded cover with stitching that feels like the real thing! Photographic interiors feature simple text that focuses on the joy of the game for kids and parents alike. Because having fun is the most important part!

The Alien Next Door 5: Baseball Blues book
#23
The Alien Next Door 5: Baseball Blues
Written by A.I. Newton and illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In the fifth book of the Alien Next Door series, Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all try out for the baseball team, but Zeke can't resist using his powers to help him play better than everyone else. It's baseball season, and Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all decide to try out for the team. Zeke doesn't quite know how to play baseball, but his powers allow him to pitch and hit better than anyone else! But Harris thinks that what Zeke is doing is cheating, since none of the other players have his powers, and he's also concerned that someone might discover Zeke's an alien. But Zeke doesn't see a problem with this, causing tension in their friendship. Can Zeke and Harris save their friendship, or will they strike out?

  1. Rooting for Rafael Rosales - In the Dominican Republic, a boy who dreams of playing professional baseball in the United States crosses paths with a young environmentalist from Minneapolis who is passionate about saving bees.

  2. 42 Is Not Just a Number The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero - Jackie Robinson’s athletic talents would have easily landed another man a career in pro sports, but such opportunities were closed to athletes like Jackie for one reason: his skin was the wrong color. Jackie settled for playing baseball in the Negro Leagues until 1946, when the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers recruited him for a position that would cause him to face cruel and sometimes violent hatred and discrimination: Jackie Robinson was going to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. In this compelling biography, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport chronicles the extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson and how his achievements won over—and changed—a segregated nation.

  3. Lipman Pike-America’s Home Run King - In the mid 1800s the sport of baseball was working its way across the United States. Amateur teams were springing up and in 1858 the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed. Young men were eager to show their prowess on the field and in the batter’s box. Lipman Pike’s father, a Dutch immigrant, runs a small haberdashery in Brooklyn, New York, though Lip is more interested in watching the ball players than working behind the counter. His mother doesn’t approve— Jewish boys should be paying attention to more sensible matters. But when Lip is barely a teenager, he’s invited to join a local club. When he hits his first pitch over the right fielder’s head, Lip knows baseball is the sport for him. Award-winning author Richard Michelson chronicles the meteoric rise of one of baseball’s earliest (and unsung) champions.

  4. The Funniest Man in Baseball - Max Patkin was pitching in the minor leagues when he was injured and had to leave his dreams behind. He joined the Navy and eventually was able to play again while in the military . . . and this time he got to pitch against superstar Joe DiMaggio. When Joe hit one of Max’s throws out of the park, Max threw down his glove, left the mound, and chased Joe around the bases, making faces and imitating his every move. The crowd loved it! And a baseball clown was born. This inspiring and comical biography carries an important message: Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you hope . . . but moving in a new direction can sometimes bring happy surprises.

Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game book
#28
Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game
Written by Amy Gutierrez and illustrated by Ariana Killoran
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Smarty Marty, and her little brother Mikey, are back in the first in a series of illustrated chapter books, about a girl who loves baseball, written by San Francisco Giants in-game reporter Amy Gutierrez. Smarty Marty is the official scorekeeper for her little brother’s Little League team. But when the game announcer fails to show up for the first game, Marty is called to announce the game, inspiring her dream not only to score but to announce. But not everyone is happy about a girl getting to announce a baseball game.

Take  Me  Out  to  the  Ball  Game book
#29
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Written and illustrated by Jack Norworth
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get out the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and get ready for fun with America’s national sport!

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!