Cover image for Dirt on their skirts : the story of the young women who won the world championship
Dirt on their skirts : the story of the young women who won the world championship
Rappaport, Doreen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Margaret experiences the excitement of watching the 1946 championship game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as it goes into extra innings.
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 39564.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.8 2 Quiz: 21493 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



You had to be really, really good to play in the 1946 championship game between the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches. Sitting in the stands, Margaret thrills to every crack of the bat. Someday she hopes to join her heroes like Sophie "the Flash" Kurys and Betty "Moe" Trezza. As the ball hurtles toward the plate, Margaret can almost feel what it would be like to be in that batter's position, arms tensed, bat held high.As we see this historic game in the annals of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League through the eyes of a fictional young girl, Dirt on Their Skirts is a potent reminder that women athletes have inspired young fans throughout the twentieth century. Based on written accounts and on the memories of the players themselves, this exciting story is for all those sandlot sluggers whose hearts beat a little faster whenever they hear the words?"Play ball!"

Author Notes

Doreen Rappaport is known for her thoroughly researched nonfiction that reads like fiction. She lives in New York City.
Earl Bradley Lewis was born on December 16, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA. As early as the third grade he displayed artistic promise. Inspired by two uncles, who where artists, Lewis decided he wanted to follow in their footsteps.

After finishing the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School Art League run by his uncle. Under the tutelage of Clarence Wood, a noted painter in Philadelphia, Lewis began his formal art training. He remained in the program until his enrollment in the Temple University Tyler School of Art in 1975.

During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in Graphic Design and Illustration, along with Art Education. There he discovered his medium of preference, watercolor.

Upon graduation in 1979, Lewis went directly into teaching, along with freelancing in Graphic Design. Between 1985 and 1986 he had completed a body of work which was exhibited in a downtown Philadelphia gallery. The show sold out and bought him public recognition and critical acclaim. Within two years his work was exhibited at the prestigious Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia, where his shows continue to sell out.

Lewis' work is now part of major private collections and is displayed in galleries throughout the United States. Honoring Lewis, Barbara Bader's History on American Picture books will be including a description of Earl and his achievements as an artist. Currently, Earl Lewis is teaching illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City.

E. B. Lewis is the illustrator of two Coretta Scott King Honor Books, Rows and Piles of Coins and Bat Boy and his Violin . He lives in New Jersey.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. In a story that draws on a bit of sports history, Margaret and her family are on hand to watch the Racine Belles face the Rockford Peaches in the 1946 championship of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League--and it's the last exciting part of the extra-inning contest. Everyone cheers when Racine's Sophie "The Flint Flash" Kurys slides safely into home, triggering an ebullient victory celebration. The text evokes the tension of the final moments of a close game, with Lewis' watercolors capturing the gritty on-field action and the shadowy light of a stadium illuminated on a late-summer night. The box score of the actual game follows the story, and a brief author's note gives some history of the women's professional league. The end papers show snapshots of a few of the players, then and now. An exciting introduction to the fondly remembered women's professional baseball league for young baseball fans. --Todd Morning

Publisher's Weekly Review

Drawing on written accounts and interviews with former players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Rappaport (paired with Lewis for The New King) and Callan (a playwright) whisk readers back in time to the 1946 championship game between the Rockford Peaches and the Racine Belles. Judiciously using endmatter to relate a historical overview of the league, the authors serve up a fan's view of the game, placing a young spectator named Margaret and her family at the center of the action. "You have to be tough to play baseball in a skirt," Margaret's mother says, and it's easy to see why as Sophie "the Flash" Kurys and Betty "Moe" Trezza take the field, scraped knees and all. The final inning unfolds play by play, in potent and colorful language. Margaret, for example, notes that the Belles' victory "felt like the last day of school, the Fourth of July, the end of the War." Lewis's fluid, assured watercolors capture the on-field energy as well as the humanity of the players and their fans. Well wrought in every regard, this is a nifty introduction to one of baseball's shining moments and to the contributions of a group of outstanding female athletes in particular. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-This lively picture book opens at the bottom of the 14th inning of the 1946 championship game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The score is 0-0. Rappaport and Callan tell the story of this real event through the eyes of a fictional young fan of the hometown Racine Belles of Wisconsin. Margaret, her mother, and brother never miss a home game and they are joined by her father now that he is home from the service. The girl dutifully keeps score, waits for her team to come through, and endures her brother's teasing about her scabby knees. Margaret's dream is to play second base for the Belles, like her favorite player, Sophie Kurys. Nicknamed the "Flint Flash," Kurys gets a hit, steals second, and slides home to win the game. "It felt like the last day of school, the Fourth of July, the end of the War." With its economy of language and telling period details, this book provides an exciting slice of sports history and an appealing bit of Americana, and vividly conveys the spirit of one great little girl. Lewis's finely wrought watercolor paintings deftly capture the crowd and the action on the field. The game-winning play at the plate leaves no doubt that, "You have to be tough to play baseball in a skirt." Archival and recent photos of players for the Belles and the Rockford Peaches line the endpapers and stats from the championship game and an author's note round out this winning package.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.