Title: Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer
Author: Bill Wise
Illustrator: Bill Farnsworth
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Year: 2009 (paperback)
Concepts: discrimination, jobs, poverty
Review: While growing up in the Penobscot Indian reservation in the late 1800s, Louis Sockalexis fell in love with baseball and did all he could to develop his unusual talent. Undaunted by the poverty and inequality in legal rights experienced by Native Americans at the time, he went on to Holy Cross College on an athletic scholarship. His accomplishments on the field gained the notice of the manager of a Major League Baseball team, but his Native American heritage gained even more negative attention from the fans and the media. Although Sockalexis was probably the first Native American to play in the major leagues, the intense hostility, racial slurs, and discrimination that he faced stymied this honor and made his life much more difficult.
This exciting and informative book is sure to be a hit with young readers who appreciate sports biographies that focus on obstacles and opportunities.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children