The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton

illus. by Steven Salerno. 40p. photos. Clarion. Mar. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544611634.
PreS-Gr 3—Vernick provides another entertaining and informative introduction to a little-known baseball legend. Edith Houghton, born in 1912 in Philadelphia, became a female baseball player at the age of 10. Playing with women who were older than herself, she traveled as far as Japan. Later, she became the first woman hired as a scout for a professional baseball team. While the story itself is fascinating, Vernick excels at highlighting the more noteworthy aspects of the athlete's life with her attention to detail. When describing the team's sea voyage to Japan, she points out the fun the teammates had dancing and socializing, once they overcame their seasickness. However, the heart of the story is Houghton's recollections of her youthful experiences. Appended is a postscript of Houghton's later life along with photographs—a satisfying touch. Created from charcoal ink and gouache, the colorful and lively illustrations complement the text. Especially well done is Salerno's occasional use of the contrast between sepia and color tones, which accentuates the more important aspects of the page. This book should especially appeal to those who enjoyed Vernick and Salerno's Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team (Clarion, 2012).
VERDICT The compelling story and energetic illustrations make this an excellent addition.

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