The All-American

Revell. Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780800739362. pap. $16.99. CF
It’s 1952, and 16-year-old Bertha “Bert” Harding is barely passing home economics, but she’s dominating the sandlot in baseball. Her younger sister Flossie spends most days with her nose stuck in a book, unless she’s asking endless questions about the world. Their middle-class world is turned upside down, however, when a neighbor turns in their famous author father to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Even an allegation of communism is enough for the Hardings to be denied service at the market and for a book-banning campaign against William’s works to begin at the local library. The family leaves Detroit for remote Northern Michigan, where Bertha wonders if her American dream of joining a women’s baseball league is still possible.
VERDICT Finkbeiner (The Nature of Small Birds) excels at illuminating history and the human condition through the voices of young people. Fans of the 1992 movie A League of Their Own will enjoy this, as will readers of women’s fiction such as Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd and The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan.
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