Three Strike Summer

S. & S./McElderry. Aug. 2022. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534499140.
Gr 3-7–Schrempp takes us back to a tough time for Americans—even those who were not girls trying to play baseball. Gloria Mae Wilson is a farmer’s daughter who has a great arm and is itching to play baseball with the boys in her small Oklahoma town. When area dust storms finally cinch the farm’s bankruptcy, the family packs up and heads west to find work in California. Luckily for Gloria, the kids at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard, where her family gets jobs, have an underground baseball game against Michelson’s Apricot Grove next door. Will Gloria finally get a chance to pitch? Or will family and standing up for what’s right keep her off the field? This title is a solid addition to Great Depression historical fiction, as told from the perspective of a strong-willed girl with a lot of spunk. The characters are all white, and while the author’s note does reference how foreign-born immigrants fit into this period in history, it is disappointing that no characters of color make an appearance.
VERDICT An enjoyable read for a niche group, it lacks wide appeal. Recommended for large collections where Great Depression historical fiction is popular.

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