|Waiting for Pumpsie|
Author: Wittenstein, Barry
In 1959 Bernard is a young Red Sox fan, troubled by the lack of Black players in major league baseball, especially as there are none at all on his favorite team--but change is coming in the form of a rookie named Pumpsie Green.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 188344
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2017 It’s 1959. Growing up in an African American family of avid baseball fans, Bernard loves almost everything about the Red Sox, from listening to games on the radio to cheering on the players at Fenway. What’s not to love? Well, there’s the fact that some folks in the stands make rude, racist remarks and the injustice that—12 years after Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier”—the team has never fielded a black player. Finally, under pressure, management hires Pumpsie Green. The story ends on a high note, with everyone celebrating as Green contributes to a Red Sox win. Weaving in facts, emotions, and perspective, the first-person text makes it easy to empathize with Bernard’s point of view. The acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations feature good characterizations, strong compositions, and dramatic ball-park scenes. A closing author’s note fills in some baseball history. With its tacit acknowledgment that social change is a slow process and that racism was not confined to the South, this picture book contributes to children’s understanding of America’s past, while telling a good story. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 K-Gr 3—In 1959 Boston, a young African American baseball fan named Bernard anxiously waits for the Minor League player Pumpsie Green to join the Red Sox. It is the last team with an all-white lineup, but change is in the air. Bernard and his family continue to face racial discrimination from white fans and policemen at Fenway Park when they attend games. But after the boy and his family hear Pumpsie's name announced on the radio, they later go to a game to root for the new player. This story is not so much about Pumpsie Green (who goes on to a short career with the Red Sox) as it is about a family longing for an end to segregation and discrimination. The joy that comes when they enjoy a small victory with their favorite team's integration is palpable though subtle and is the real center of the narrative. The vibrant illustrations in acrylic paint complement and enhance the text, making readers feel a part of the tale. VERDICT This uplifting account of a family and the integration of Boston baseball will be inspiring to many youngsters.—Margaret Nunes, Gwinnett County Public Library, GA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.