Cover image for The journal of Biddy Owens : the Negro leagues
The journal of Biddy Owens : the Negro leagues
Myers, Walter Dean, 1937-2014.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, [2001]

Physical Description:
141 pages : illustrations, map ; 20 cm.
Teenager Biddy Owens' 1948 journal about working for the Birmingham Black Barons includes the games and the players, racism the team faces from New Orleans to Chicago, and his family's resistance to his becoming a professional baseball player. Includes a historical note about the evolution of the Negro Leagues.
Reading Level:
920 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 4.0 50162.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.8 8 Quiz: 23863 Guided reading level: S.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
Central Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Clearfield Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
East Delavan Branch Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
East Delavan Branch Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Elma Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Lancaster Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Orchard Park Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library X Juvenile Fiction Series

On Order



May 3

It's hard not to worry about white folks' ball because now that Jackie Robinson is playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Larry Doby is playing with the Cleveland Indians, everybody is thinking about going up. Just a year ago, Jackie played with the Kansas City Monarchs and Doby played with the Newark Eagles. Piper said that some of the players were so busy looking around for white scouts, they couldn't find the ball.

Author Notes

Walter Dean Myers was born on August 12, 1937 in Martinsberg, West Virginia. When he was three years old, his mother died and his father sent him to live with Herbert and Florence Dean in Harlem, New York. He began writing stories while in his teens. He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army at the age of 17. After completing his army service, he took a construction job and continued to write.

He entered and won a 1969 contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, which led to the publication of his first book, Where Does the Day Go? During his lifetime, he wrote more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His works include Fallen Angels, Bad Boy, Darius and Twig, Scorpions, Lockdown, Sunrise Over Fallujah, Invasion, Juba!, and On a Clear Day. He also collaborated with his son Christopher, an artist, on a number of picture books for young readers including We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart and Harlem, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, as well as the teen novel Autobiography of My Dead Brother.

He was the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, the first recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. He also won the Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors five times. He died on July 1, 2014, following a brief illness, at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 1^-3. Instead of telling the life story of Martin Luther King, Jr., this book from the All Aboard Reading series focuses on one significant event: the 1963 March on Washington. Ruffin does a good job of developing several threads that led up to the "I Have a Dream" speech, including segregation and protests against it, and Dr. King's civil rights movement. The remainder of the book offers the hopeful message that the day's events made a significant difference because they led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paintings provide vivid portrayals of people and events. Used in conjunction with black-and-white period photos, they illustrate the text quite effectively. The book could also be used with older classes as an introduction to the "I Have a Dream" speech, which is so often presented with very little context, as a way of celebrating King's birthday or Black History Month. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-Myers writes in the voice of the 17-year-old equipment manager for the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons baseball team. Through Biddy's journal, readers are introduced not only to the last great year of the Negro Leagues, but also to the institutional racism and blatant bigotry that existed in mid-20th-century America. The teen documents the action of the games, records the jokes and discussions that take place on the long bus rides to distant ball parks, complains about his younger sister, and writes about his hopes and desires for the future. A sometimes right fielder, he realizes that he will never be a great player and turns his dreams to attending college and becoming a journalist or sports writer. Intertwined with detailed descriptions of hits, runs, wins, and losses, Biddy describes his anger at not being served at a five-and-dime lunch counter and his yearning to stand up for his rights. Myers refers to actual players of the time: everyone talks about Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige; Willie Mays is a member of the Birmingham Black Barons; and Biddy meets Hank Aaron, who plays for the Indiana Clowns. A final section includes a fictional epilogue, a historical note, black-and-white photos, and information about the author. Direct readers who want more information to Patricia McKissack's Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball League (Scholastic, 1994).-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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