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21 Books to Welcome Back Baseball

Celebrating America's favorite pastime with great reads for kids, teens, and adults

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • March 09, 2023

For baseball fans, this is an exciting time of year as the teams head to spring training and gear up for Opening Day, scheduled for March 30. In the meantime, we're enjoying some of our favorite reads about America's National Pastime. Here are 21 books for kids, teens, and grown-ups about baseball.

For Kids

Randy Riley's Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen
A baseball-loving boy genius gets his day of glory in this rollicking picture book. When it comes to the solar system, the constellations, and all things robot, Randy is a genius. But on the baseball diamond? Not so much. He whiffs it every time. Oh well, he can't ace everything. Or can he?

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
Inspired by actual events, this moving picture book tells a story of hope and courage in a WWII-era Japanese American internment camp. Forced to leave their homes after the Pearl Harbor attack, "Shorty" and his father boost spirits in the "camp" by building a baseball diamond and forming a league.

She Loved Baseball by Audrey Vernick and Don Tate
This picture book biography tells the story of Effa Manley, the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth's mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team.

Home Run by Tim Green
Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica's sports books and Dan Gutman's Baseball Card Adventures, this inspiring middle-grade novel tells the story of a boy who has the chance to get his family the new house they need by winning the home run derby. All he has to do is hit twenty home runs.

Get a Grip Vivy Cohen by Sarah Kapit
Vivy Cohen is determined. She's had enough of playing catch in the park. She's ready to pitch for a real baseball team. In this perfectly pitched novel-in-letters, an autistic eleven-year-old girl won't let anything stop her from playing baseball—especially when she has a major-league star as her pen pal.

Big Nate: Revenge of the Cream Puffs by Lincoln Peirce
Nate and his baseball team, saddled with the most embarrassing moniker in Little League history, want to show the world they're not just a bunch of cupcakes. But it won't be easy. This middle-grade graphic novel infuses humor and heart into a story about an underdog baseball team seeking a sweet victory.

Mascot by Antony John
Noah misses playing baseball—but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that left Noah paralyzed. This witty, heartfelt story about perseverance in the face of adversity is perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio, Cammie McGovern, and John David Anderson.

For teens

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña
Danny's pitch is so fierce, any college scout would sign him on the spot. But the boy's not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it. Set in San Diego, this YA novel is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she turns to painkillers to keep her spot as the catcher on a team headed for the championships. But as her need increases, the drugs become less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

Heart of a Champion by Carl Deuker
Jimmy Winter is a born star on the baseball field, and Seth Barnam can only dream of being as talented. Still, the two baseball fanatics have the kind of friendship that should last forever. But when Seth experiences an unthinkable loss, he's forced to find his own personal strength—on and off the field.

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball by Dori Jones Yang
Twelve-year-old Leon is determined to follow the Emperor's rules—to live with an American family, study hard, and return home to modernize China. But as he grows to love his new home, it becomes more and more difficult to resist such forbidden American temptations as baseball.

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick
When an injury ends his pitching career, Peter has some major things to figure out. Is there life after sports? Exploring themes of friendship, romance, family, and tragedy, this story demonstrates that sometimes, the greatest comebacks take place far away from the ball field.

The Pitcher by William Hazelgrove
A boy with a golden arm but no money for lessons. A broken down World Series pitcher struggling to cope after the death of his wife. In the vein of The Natural and Field of Dreams, this is a mythic story about how a man and a boy meet in the crossroads of their life and find a way to go on.

Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess
Noah and his best friend Walt want to become cool, make the baseball team, and find love. With the help of old love letters, Noah feels he can finally woo Sam, the girl he's loved for years. But just as his love life and Walt's baseball career begin, something happens that changes everything.

For grown-ups

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella
"If you build it, he will come." These mysterious words inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield to honor his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. The inspiration for the beloved film Field of Dreams, this dreamy novel is about the power and endurance of a dream.

Making My Pitch: A Woman's Baseball Odyssey by Ila Jane Borders
In May 1997, Ila Jane Borders made history as the first woman to play men's professional baseball since the era of the Negro leagues. Her memoir traces her run from Little League prodigy to MVP of her otherwise all-male high school team to the first woman to pitch and win a men's collegiate game.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended in this expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits.

The Brothers K by David James Duncan
This touching novel spans decades of loyalty, anger, regret, and love in the lives of the Chance family. A father whose dreams of baseball glory are shattered by an accident. A mother who clings obsessively to religion. Four brothers coming of age during the seismic upheavals of the sixties.

The Celebrant by Eric Rolfe Greenberg
Based on real-life baseball hero Christy Mathewson, this novel recalls a time when hardworking immigrants could achieve the American dream. Centered around a fictional story of a Jewish immigrant family, this saga contends with the burdens of being a hero and the temptations that taint success.

The Southpaw by Mark Harris
The first in a series, this is the coming-of-age story of left-handed pitcher Henry Wiggen growing to manhood in a right-handed world. From his small-town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry learns how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, and the sports page—and himself, too—all at once.

Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story by LeAnne Howe
Set in Indian Territory during the turbulent days before statehood, an Indian baseball team is poised to win the 1907 Twin Territories' Pennant against their archrivals. But then the team's pitcher, Hope Little Leader, finds himself embroiled in a plot that threatens to destroy him and his entire team.

Time to play ball! We hope you find something here to get you excited for the return of baseball season.

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