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A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson
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A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  285 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Mamie Johnson looks the batter in the eye. Sizes him up for a curve- or a fastball. Stretches her 5'2" frame. And pops a surefire, windup, coming-right-at-ya pitch smack dab over the plate. One that lets the batter know that this "peanut of a girl" means business. Fueled by her passion for the game and buoyed by the inspiration of Jackie Robinson, Mamie Johnson is determin ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published July 22nd 2002 by Dial
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Ryan Mcdaniel
A Strong Right Arm is the true story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson who was one of only three women to ever play professional baseball. Mamie’s baseball career started out as a dream, which then inspired her to overcome any obstacles that came between her and playing in the majors. Her first chance to play with the boys came in elementary school when she played in the Police Athletic League (PAL). When she played baseball people couldn’t believe she was a girl and were impressed by her even when they ...more
Marqual P.
I thought that this book was a inspirational book.It was a sports book with a sad twist.
Dec 03, 2014 Frank added it
Frank Visco

A Strong Right Arm

The authors message is that dreams can be accomplished with hard work and dedication even if people think it's not possible. The this book takes place in the city of Milwaukee during a time when there was conflict between blacks and whites. This books point of view is from Mamie Johnson who is also the main character. Other main characters are Rita and Maime's aunt and uncle. This story is about a young girl growing up in segregational time and her dream is
Jared M
A Strong Right Arm by Michelle Green was a good book. I was a good story about Mamie Johnson but it was a little boring. It didn't have any suspense or in the moment sections.
This biography is about an African American lady name Mamie Johnson who grows up loving baseball. She started at a very young age as a pitcher but was always limited to what she could do because at the time a black lady playing baseball was just crazy. She ends up showing up coaches by proving just because she is a girl d
Karen Ball
"Excuse me, sir, but what are you going to tell the boys?" He laughed out loud. "We don't have to tell them one blessed thing, Mamie," he said, calling me by my name for the first time. "How 'bout we let that strong right arm of yours do all the talking?"

I loved this! It's short, easy to read, and Mamie "Peanut" Johnson's voice shines. One of only three women who ever played professional baseball in the Negro Leagues in the 1950's, she is a delightful character. Her story begins in South Carol
James Fain
A really good book talking about discrimination and differences of barriers Mamie took in the book
This little book made a big impression on me. It's an easy-ish reading level, but the ideas are definitely for middle schoolers. I had no idea until I read this book that women played in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. There were just a few, and Mamie Johnson was one of them. The 1950's were a very in-between time. Blacks in the US didn't have full rights, but they were making their own way, establishing schools, sports leagues, etc. despite discrimination. I still can't believe there were women ...more
Alex W
May 12, 2015 Alex W added it
The book, A Strong Right Arm is a biography about Maine "Peanut" Johnson. I am not a fan of biographies, however this book was an interesting story about how a man overcame adversity and became who he wanted to be. even though I do not love biographies, I still appreciated this book. It was interesting to learn about what this man had overcome. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in sports. Even if you have a hard time with biographies you may still want to read this because ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if the 4th and 5th graders from the year 2011 will enjoy it as much as I did because so much of this is about Mamie overcoming, what at the time seemed to be, insurmountable odds of race and gender that are not even part of their current reality. Hopefully they will at least see it as an uplifting story about someone who was able to reach their goals, despite the challenges they faced.

The 'author' told it in first person, but we know it was not written b
Justin Nay
Justin Nay 3/12/12
Class 1201 TRCS
English IRB Assignment #3: A Strong Right Arm (The Story of
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson by Michelle Y. Green)
The book “A Strong Right Arm” is about a girl named Mamie “Peanut” Johnson who she wanted to be a pitcher. She becomes the first female baseball player ever to play in the Negro League or in any Major League team.
The one thing that I like about this book is that Mamie succeeds in her dream to play baseball. I wanted to know why she wanted to play hardbal
Becca Buckman
A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson is a biography written about an African American girl who dreamed of playing baseball in the big leagues. Despite the racial tensions spread throughout America during the 20th century, Mamie’s impeccable determination to throw curveballs and change-ups landed her into baseball history. Michelle Y. Green tells the story about a young girl from Eastern Virginia who wants nothing more than to stand on the pitcher’s mound throwing strikes.

I have to admit, I don't know much about baseball history or even much about the sport in general other than you hit the ball and run the bases. And hope no one catches it or gets you out.

And of course I know about some of the big names such as Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth... (Those may be the only names I know.) And living in Chicago, I know the Cubs and the White Sox. But I really don't care about the sport.

Oddly enough, for a sport I don't care about, I love baseball books and movies. Sandl
Before reading this book, I had heard a little bit about the Negro Leagues in the history of baseball, but I had never heard of a woman playing on the team back in those days. I have been fascinated with the diversification of baseball ever since I saw the movie "A League of Their Own." There is a poignant and powerful scene in the movie where the ladies are fielding and a ball gets past them and ends up near a group of black women. One of them throws a bullet, much to the amazement of onlookers ...more
Amanda Northrup
A great piece of forgotten history, written in a very accessible way for middle graders. This will pair well with Kadir Nelson's nonfiction book about the Negro Leagues, We Are the Ship, and recent headlines about little league pitcher MoNe Davis.

I found it an interesting choice to write this as if it were a first-person memoir. Makes me wonder how much has been fictionalized for the narrative form.
Lonna Pierce
"Peanut" was one of 3 black women who played professionally for the Negro Leagues, and this book was inspirational. Just the right length & readability for students, Mamie "Peanut" Johnson gives an understanding of overcoming barriers to succeed. Her stats are at:
Last weekend, I visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City in search of more information about Toni Stone. Toni Stone, Connie Morgan and Mamie "Peanut" Johnson all played baseball with the Negro Leagues. Mamie Johnson is the only one of the three women who is still alive. When I mentioned my interest in Toni Stone to the man in the museum gift shop, he directed me to a book about Mamie Johnson. He also looked up her address and number so I could get in touch with her! A Strong Righ ...more
Mamie Johnson, one of only three women to play pro baseball in the 1950s, had a strong right arm and an arsenal of wicked pitches. All ninety-eight pounds of her went into each pitch and she faced some brutal batters. Her life and passion was the game of baseball.

But, as we all know, pro baseball is not welcoming to women and especially not in the 1940s and 1950s to African-American women. Her love and passion carried her through, though, and she made a name for herself. A Strong Right Arm: The
Abby Johnson
This biography of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, a female baseball player who played for the Negro Leagues, is both interesting and informative. I learned about a fantastic woman that I had never even heard of before. Mamie's story is an inspiring one. From a pretty young age, she loved playing baseball. Not softball. Hardball. But gaining acceptance in a man's sport was not easy, especially since she is black and this was in the 1950s when many things were still segregated. Shunned from the All-Americ ...more
Joey Reinberg
I really enjoyed A Strong Right Arm because it really was heartwarming. To know that all people have equal rights is really an important topic. Even though Mamie struggles, she fights through it and eventually comes out on top. I have not really experienced such sexist ways in my life but the only thing I can think of is when us boys think girls are not as good at sports. But this book proves that wrong it proves that even when you grow up poor with no family you can still accomplish anything yo ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Inma added it
I choose this book as part of the Bluestem nominated books for 2014. I don't think I would chosen it on its own but it is actually a great short biography of one of only three females that played on the Negro Leagues. An inspirational tale that shows how hard work, determination, and faith can make dreams come true. Mamie narrates the story and her short career as a professional baseball player in a male dominated sport during difficult and trying times. Her positive attitude is palpable through ...more
Beki Henson
AR Reading level: 5.1
Interest Level: 1st to 6th
This nonfiction book will grab the attention of athletes as the story of Mamie “Peanut” Johnson is told through her own words. At merely 5 feet tall, Mamie Johnson, also known as Peanut becomes one of the only three female players to play baseball professionally for the Negro Baseball League. This is an inspiring story of determination and never giving up on dreams. Not only baseball loving boys, but ball loving, strong girls will love this book. A
reviewed for Heartland School
I didn't really understand the purpose of this story. Just reading the premiss, a women playing professional baseball, I thought it would go into a lot of details of the struggles that involved. Instead the book basically glosses over every aspect of her life in a very general way. You get the impression she is a very detailed and complex character, but the author does not do justice in showing that. I feel like her story is much greater than this book made it out to be.
EBOB - short, easy read but interesting
that this book is about. is that mamie johnson is a legand and she plays on negro leagues baseball team and that was her dream to play baseball

Mamie Johnson played ball in the waning days of the negro leagues. Brought in as a novelty to sell tickets, there was no doubt the 5'2" girl could throw. This is a brief but inspirational story of the grit and determination of a talented girl to play the game she loved. Told directly and simply in Mamie's voice, this is a good introduction to biography, to the story of Civil Rights, and the power of dreams. Suitable for grades 3-5.
I just finished reading this book with two of my classes and will finish reading it aloud to the rest of them soon. Both boys and girls liked this book very much. It is about baseball and it is about a tough, determined girl. I chose it for those reasons, but my student learned quite a bit about prejudice and segregation too. They were also intrigued with the amount of money made in the past. This book has been a hit.
Lisa Nagel
I really enjoyed this story of "peanut" Mamie Johnson. Mamie was one of the few professional black women to ever play in the Negro Baseball League, and her determination and passion for the game was wonderful to read about. It also made me want to find out more about her and the They Played Baseball Foundation. Great resources to do so listed in the back of the book.
Rachel Lunstroth
I liked that this girl played baseball and pitched like i do. I think it should have told more about her life and the obstacles she had to overcome. I think it was cool how she pitched and how her and her teammates were close. I also think her pitching was really cool. I know how that is to be a girl and to strike out some hot shot guy, its truely one of the best feelings.
Pat Salvatini
In the era before civil and women rights Mamie Johnson was a young black female baseball player. Inspired by the changes around her Mamie pursued her dream until she became one of only three women to eventually play professionally in the Negro Leagues. An amazing story of courage and perseverance that has to now gone untold and should be read as an inspirational story by all.
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