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

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,408 Ratings  ·  192 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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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
Aug 29, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
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
Ann Haefele
Aug 13, 2012 Ann Haefele rated it it was amazing
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. :)
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.

Apr 12, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
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.
Mar 23, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
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!
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
Apr 07, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Sep 19, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
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 Hansen
Mar 28, 2012 Kristine Hansen rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 06, 2014 Deanna rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 17, 2012 Margie rated it it was amazing
The true measure of a good biography is does it take you back to a place and time; making you feel as if the person(s) are still among us.
Author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Steven Salerno have accomplished this and more with this title.

My review:
Kate Conley
Jul 06, 2012 Kate Conley rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Rich in history... It Is high interest and intriguing. I have a crush on twelve Acerra boys now!!!
Amber Lund
Jun 06, 2017 Amber Lund rated it really liked it
Love the illustrations
Laura Hodgins
Jan 28, 2017 Laura Hodgins rated it really liked it
Really fun historical book about a family team. Didn't know we had them or quite so many of them.
Kitty Tomlinson
Mar 12, 2017 Kitty Tomlinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Children's picture book of the Acerras Brothers baseball team. Loved this book.
Feb 24, 2017 Angela rated it it was amazing
This is a fun and fascinating read. I was wowed by the all-brother baseball team then I read in the Author's note that between 1860 and 1940 there were 29 baseball teams made up entirely of brothers.
Amanda Deatherage
Apr 14, 2015 Amanda Deatherage rated it really liked it
This is a true story about the amazing Acerra family that consisted of a mom, a dad, and sixteen kids! They had four girls and twelve boys, and all twelve boys liked to play baseball. There were enough brothers to field an entire baseball team of nine, with a few left over. So, they often played ball together, and eventually created their own semi-pro baseball team. They were even honored as the biggest family in New Jersey in 1939. They loved playing together, but then life got in the way. Six ...more
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
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,
Mar 26, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
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
Sheri Levasseur
Not just for baseball lovers, this is probably one of the most exceptional baseball/family stories of mid-1900 american history and culture. This book is a great elementary classroom or family read-aloud especially in the Spring when baseball and softball season is just getting started. Retro-looking illustrations help create a feel for the time period and introduce readers to all 16 Acerra brothers, their sisters, the ball fields and communities they played in...

The brothers spanning 22 years i
Mar 30, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
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
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
Anja Manning
Dec 17, 2012 Anja Manning rated it liked it
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
Jan 01, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
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
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
Jan 27, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: California Young Reader nominee
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 together as a team. Nothing life threw their way could stop them.

Full of action, drama, and excitement, this never-before-t
Feb 14, 2016 Hailey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child-lit
This is the true story of the Acerra Brothers. There were so many of them that they made their own baseball team. After they played pro ball for a few years on a team full of their brothers one by one they all went to war. They got lucky and one by one they all survived the war and came home. After, they started families and so their children started playing baseball. The Acerras were put into the Hall of Fame as the longest playing baseball team in history.
I absolutely loved this book because w
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Audrey Vernick is the author of books for young readers.

Forthcoming titles:

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TAKE YOUR OCTOPUS TO SCHOOL DAY, illustrated by Diana Schoenbrun

More about Audrey Vernick...

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