Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King
by Richard Michelson
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 the Nationals Junior Club and play first base. 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. Richard Michelson's poetry and children's books have been listed among the year's best books by The New Yorker, the New York Public Library, and the Jewish Book Council. His A is for Abraham: A Jewish Alphabet won the 2009 Sydney Taylor Award Silver Medal. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Zachary Pullen's picture-book illustrations have won awards and garnered starred reviews. He has been honored several times with acceptance into the prestigious Society of Illustrators juried shows and Communication Arts Illustration Annual of the best in current illustration. Zak lives in Wyoming.
- Dewey: 796.357092 B
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585364657): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2011, 02/14/2011
- PDF (9781410307736): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2011, 02/08/2011
- Hosted ebook (9781627534420): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.7
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 143547
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- The USA "Best Books" Awards--Finalist in Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Non-Fiction Category, Runner-up, 2011
- National Jewish Book Award Finalist Illustrated Children's Books Category, Runner-up, 2011
- Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book--Younger Readers Category, Commended, 2011
A Review of "Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King" in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Reviewed on 1 July 2012
Lipman Pike was a Dutch Jewish immigrant who played baseball professionally in the 1800s. This interesting biography picture book written for 6 to 10-year-olds tells his story beautifully. Not only did Lipman become a baseball player, but he went on to become America’s first home run king.
This book is wonderful for introducing younger students to baseball’s history in America. In doing so, it also introduces other historical figures worth noting. For example, Lipman Pike took a job working at Tammany Hall for Boss Tweed.
“Boss Tweed owned the New York Mutuals team and wanted Lipman to play ball for him. “Of course, we can’t pay you,” Boss Tweed explained. “That would be against Base Ball Association policy, and, as New York’s Commissioner of Public Works, I would never break the rules.” He waved Lip closer so he could whisper. “But I can offer you a job in our government office at Tammany Hall. You would have little work to do and plenty of time to play ball.”
You’ll discover in your American history studies, if you haven’t already, that Boss Tweed was involved in some very famous political scandals that rocked the nation. What a great way to connect history and sports with real people! The author includes a lengthy note at the end of the book providing even more historical information about how baseball got started in America, how it developed during the Civil War and throughout the 1800s, and what happened to Lipman Pike during and after his baseball career.
This book is a wonderful biography worth your time, especially if your kids have an interest in baseball! You’ll enjoy this story and the excellent illustrations. Highly recommended!
Author: Richard Michelson
Richard Michelson is a prize-winning poet and children’s book author. His numerous books for children have received a New Yorker Best Book Award, a Children’s Book Committee Book of the Year and a Jewish Book Council Book of the Month. In addition to being an author, Mr. Michelson is a popular guest speaker. Within the past year he has lectured, and read from his works in India, Eastern Europe, and throughout the United States. Michelson has written for the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, Nextbook and other publications. He is the Curator of Exhibitions at The National Yiddish Book Center and owns R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Illustrator: Zachary Pullen
Zachary Pullen’s picture-book illustrations have won awards and garnered starred reviews. He has been honored several times with acceptance into the prestigious Society of Illustrators juried shows and Communication Arts Illustration Annual of the best in current illustration. Zak lives in Wyoming.