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Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  690 ratings  ·  149 reviews
The Acerra family had sixteen children, including twelve ball-playing boys. It was the
1930s, and many families had lots of kids. But only one had enough to field a baseball
team . . . with three on the bench! The Acerras were the longest-playing all-brother
team in baseball history. They loved the game, but more important, they cared for
and supported each other and stayed to
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Clarion Books
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Community Reviews

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Originally reviewed here.

The Acerra family is big. Sixteen children big. And with twelve sons, big enough to form their own baseball team. Which is exactly what they did. From the 1930s-1950s, this band of brothers played semi-pro ball and competed all throughout New Jersey.

Despite the fact that from the 1860s - 1940s, there were 29 known all-brother baseball teams, the Acerras made history by playing longer than any other. Audrey Vernick tells their story with great care and admiration for thei
Probably a 4.5
I enjoyed learning about the Acerra brothers (There were twelve of them!!!) and the baseball team that they fielded! Positive message about teamwork, support and working together... The old fashioned illustrations fit with the time period of when the brothers were playing ball (1930's). For 22 straight years their high school had an Acerra brother on its team. It's always a good sign when I read a nonfiction book and find myself wanting to know more. Of course, I am a big baseball
There's nothing better than coming across an interesting story and wondering, "Why haven't I heard about this until now?" Such is the case with this book about a baseball made up entirely of brothers. In fact, there were more brothers on the team than positions! The illustrations make this little slice of Americana even better. Perfect book for this time of year.
I am delighted to see more and more picture book biographies being published. This makes it so much easier to share biographies with younger children. At the same time, picture book biographies have to be carefully done in order to provide enough information without going overboard. I mean how do you provide just enough information to help the reader get an idea of what the person was like, without getting bogged down in details? I firmly believe that it is an art form. Picture books are an art ...more
This is one of those non-fiction books for kids that gets it all right. Audrey Vernick tells an engaging, concise version of a family of brothers who were the longest running all-brothers professional baseball team (amazingly, there were more than one!). She hits all of the highlights and still manages to infuse a great deal of personality and energy into the pages. All of it is complimented by terrific illustrations that manage to look vintage and modern at the same time. The final proof of the ...more
Kristine Pratt
Aug 30, 2012 Kristine Pratt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Families that love baseball!
Shelves: kids
My kids and I really enjoyed this book. First of all, it's a true story about an all-brother team of baseball players. Second it's about a period in baseball that is personally significant to me. We loved the pictures and the story and quite honestly it loses nothing after being read a couple of times (not an easy feat on a picture book!)

I would definitely recommend those to any family that loves baseball. It's really an awesome book and one not to be overlooked.

This review was of a copy of the
Ann Haefele
What a great story for baseball fans. A narrative nonfiction book that describes the Acerra family who had 16 children, 12 of them boys. These boys ended up forming their own semi pro baseball team in the 1930s and traveled around the country playing and winning many games. Of great interest is the family photo at the end of the book with more detailed notes regarding this interesting family. The detailed retro illustrations highlight the historical time period. Why hadn't I heard about this fam ...more
This book has sat in my Amazon wish list for awhile, so I was excited to see it on the shelf at our library - I didn't think about checking before to see if it would be there. Since our life is full of baseball, I thought this would be a perfect book for our family. And I was right. It was a great book. And I even got a bit teary-eyed reading about this family. Can't wait to read it to my boys - after my husband reads it. :)
Natalie Lorenzi
I can't wait to share this book with the students who come through my library doors. BROTHERS AT BAT isn't just for fans of baseball, it's for fans of teamwork, family, community and persevering through tough times.

Teachers and librarians can read the text as-is to younger students, or delve deeper with older kids and discuss issues such as World War II and the infancy of modern technology with the World Fair in 1939.
Lynda Shoup
I have a confession. I read baseball out of duty. I honestly have no interest in the sport. My students, however, love baseball. Every year I review and try to find books that will thrill my students. Brothers at Bat was a delightful surprise. A book as much about family and history as it is about baseball and will reach even the baseball-y challenged people like myself.

This is a great story about a true team of brothers who played baseball. The story is well told and greatly drawn. My son who loves baseball was so excited when we checked it out of our local library. What a fantastic read for any family who has a love of baseball. The story is also followed up with some interesting facts about the family.
Can you imagine an entire baseball team just made up of brothers? Neither could my son until we read this book together. Brothers at Bat tells the unbelievable tale about 12 brothers who played on the same baseball team for decades. Through injuries, war and children, these brothers stayed together and always put each other first.

I love that the book showed how they lived (all 12 in one room!) as well as the fact that the world sometimes kept them apart. And despite having fun, one of the brothe
My grandson who is 14 read this right whe it came..He said that he enjoyed it and that there was really good history in it..Than I read it and have to agree that this book is most entertaining..We are sharing it with all the adults first.....So much for it being a childrens book........GOOD JOB!
Jean Haberman
Brothers at Bat is fascinating story of the Acerra all-brother baseball team in the 1920s and 1930s. It would be a great story to use to teach what life was like in America during that was an important pastime, girls didn't play professional sports, the 1939 World's Fair, and the beginning of passenger airplanes. The Acerras had lots of childdren...12 boys and 4 girls...and they all got along and supported each other - through good times and bad. The story continues through WWII ...more
Kate Conley
Loved this book. Rich in history... It Is high interest and intriguing. I have a crush on twelve Acerra boys now!!!
Twelve brothers play baseball together - as a team - for over 30 years. I’m partial to feel-good stories about families. My children are too. My children are also partial to stories about baseball. That said, there really isn’t a way to kill a story faster than bad writing. Are my standards too high? Is it too much to ask for a good story and good writing? I’m beginning to think so. Reading aloud became a chore as I stumbled over the odd use of direct quotations, inconsistent use of names (there ...more
Stephanie Croaning
This is a fascinating story about the Acerras brothers -- a family of 12 boys who formed their own all-brother baseball team. This book would be great to recommend to kids who love baseball. It is a fascinating part of baseball history. What makes their story truly special though, is not their love for baseball, but their love for family. The illustrations have an old-fashioned look to them, which is perfect for this story set in the 30s and 40s. This book is a 2014-2015 Young Hoosier Book Award ...more
In one family from New Jersey, there were 12 baseball-playing brothers: the Acerra brothers. All of the brothers played high school baseball and their high school had an Acerra on it 22 years in a row! In 1938, the oldest nine brothers formed their own semi-pro baseball team. Their father coached the team and they played on dirt fields that were littered in rocks. Each of the brothers had a different skill set than the others. Some were slow runners but great players, others posed for the camera ...more
Brothers at Bat is a nominee for the 2013-2014 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Brothers at Bat, written by Audrey Vernick and illustrated by Steven Salerno, is the true story of an all-brother baseball team. This awe-inspiring story tells of the Acerra family of New Jersey and the twelve brothers who formed their own baseball team...and still left brothers on the bench!

The Acerra brothers played baseball in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and into the 50s. Several of the brothers took time away from thei
Anja Manning
This is a story well worth reading. The true story of an all-brothers baseball team is fun and inspiring. Firmly placed in its historical period, the story includes the 1939 World Fair and World War II, but the center of the story are the brothers who stick together and show sportsmanship. The story ends in the present with later generations of the family.

A note at the back of the book is accompanied by a photo of the true team, the 12 Acerra boys (the family had 16 children, the four daughters
Lu Benke
The opening two-page spread shows a scene reminiscent of a what looks like a 40's (The time period is actually the 30s)neighborhood and the text does the same with an evocative "back doors swing open and slap shut...." That was enough to put me back in time growing up with 2 sisters and 3 brothers in the 50's. And all our times playing baseball and other games outside. Whoops. As the text simply (and all-too-briefly) explains "The sisters didn't play ball. Back then, most people thought sports w ...more
I cannot even imagine a family made up of 12 brothers and four sisters, but this true story about the baseball-loving Acerra family who lived in New Jersey in the 1920s and 1930s shows that there were advantages to having large families. The author uses engaging language such as "slap. slap. slap" (unpaginated) to describe the sound of the brothers leaving their house to play the sport they loved so much. There are many interesting facts about the brothers included in the story; for instance, an ...more
Great picture book biography of a little-known baseball family -- evokes strong themes of family and fondness for "the good old days". Bright, bold illustrations are reminiscent of time period.

3 Starred Reviews: BCCB, Booklist, SLJ

"...Painted in a bright palette of greens, yellows, and blues, Salerno's mixed-media illustrations, traced and shaded in black crayon, are an immediate attention-getter, the thick, horizontal brushwork contributing to a strong sense of movement..."--PW.

"...Best of all,
Jun 26, 2013 Susan added it
Shelves: reference
Vernick, A. (2012). Brothers at bat: the true story of an amazing all-brother baseball team. New York: Clarion Books.

Type of Reference: Biography

Call Number: 796.357

Brief description: This book is a great way to reach the children interested in baseball with non-fiction text. The Acerra family had 12 brothers who all loved to play baseball. The boys played in high school and later formed their own semi-pro team. They played wherever they could get a good game and were known as highly skilled pla
I loved reading that the Acerra brothers were the "longest-playing all-brother baseball team ever," and then turning to the author's note and finding out that "longest-playing" adjective was not just fluff, because there were TWENTY-NINE all-brother baseball teams in the history of the sport! Holy cow!

This is a great story to read just by itself, but for older readers there is also a lot to unpack and discuss: cultural eras, semi-professional sports history, impact of World War II, gender expec
Sarah Souther
This is a rich story for something told in such a simple style. The Acerras were the longest-playing all-brother baseball team, starting in the 1930s. Hometown teams were big back then, which is quite something to learn for kids only exposed to ultra-commercial major leagues. Salerno's illustrations are (pitch) perfect, evoking the style of the period. Gr. Pre-K to 2.
Jen Zuvella
When I saw this book, I was so excited to read it because baseball has been in my family for a long time. Just by reading the summary on the back, I wanted to read it right away. I was so shocked to learn that this book was based off a true story. I had no idea that the whole team was one big family, because of them being one big family made the book much more entertaining. The family faced many big decisions, one being scholarships and contracts and the World War II. This book explained a lot o ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I'm not a sports girl. I know nothing about football despite the fact that I have lived my entire life here in Texas where football is the national sport.

Why then, you might ask, do you love not one but two Cybils nominees that are sports stories?

It's the power of the story. This story is every baseball dad's dream: a baseball team composed of twelve brothers. That's enough boys to populate the whole field with three left on the bench. And not only did this team of brothers play together, but
This is a great picture book biography that finds the perfect balance of vintage-style illustrations and fact about the longest lasting all-brother baseball team from the 1930's to the 1950's. It is an engaging story full of excitement and a great read for any children with an interest in baseball.
Liz B
This was a really interesting story of a part of American sports history I had never known--the popularity of the hometown baseball team in the 30s-50s. In this case, the story of a semi-pro baseball team that consisted entirely of brothers. I was riveted, and I really enjoyed learning something brand new.
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Audrey Vernick is the author of books for young readers.

Forthcoming titles:




BOB, NOT BOB (with Liz Garton Scanlon)
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