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You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Many believe baseball great Willie Mays to be the best player that ever lived. He hit 660 home runs (fourth best of all time), had a lifetime batting average of .302, and is second only to Babe Ruth on The Sporting News's list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players."

In Jonah Winter and Terry Widener's fascinating picture book biography, young readers can follow Mays's unpara
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Schwartz & Wade
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Steve Holden
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I previously reviewed Jonah Winter's Sandy Koufax biography in this series, and this one is presented in the same format. The cover brings attention to it by both adults and children. The illustrations are beautifully and uniquely done. Winter has a writing style where it reads like a conversation. This resonates wonderfully with young students trying to learn about a person and a time all new to them. Needless to say, I approve of this book and series - wish there were more choices, as I'd pres ...more
Alex  Baugh
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
Once, when I was young, I met Willie Mays. At the time, I had no idea who he was. But it didn't take my dad long to explain to me the significance of this great baseball player in the world of sports.

As a boy, Willie always wanted to play baseball just like his hero, the legendary Joe DiMaggio. He practiced hard and became really good at what he did. The only problem was that major league baseball was a white man's game AND Willie lived in the south where Jim Crow laws were still in effect, bot
Well, of course I've heard of Willie Mays. I just didn't really know much about him. Now I do. Thank you, Jonah Winter.

Did you know Willie Mays' father played in the Negro leagues? He did, and he coached Willie early. By the time Willie was 15, he was playing with his dad on the same semi-pro team. How crazy is that? In 1951 Mays signed with the New York Giants, and he was an instant success. On his first at bat at the Polo Grounds, he slammed a home run out of left field.

Drafted by the army in
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Unique writing style. Second person using free indirect discourse. English teachers will most likely hate the language and grammar.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
No mention of Barry Bond's record and doesn't show him in SF. Also makes the claim that Willie would have had more homers than Ruth if he hadn't gone into the service, but he did have 2,500 more at bats - that should have been enough of an advantage to make those 60 homeruns. ...more
Richie Partington
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-pb, box24
Richie's Picks: YOU NEVER HEARD OF WILLIE MAYS?! by Jonah Winter and Terry Widener, ill., Schwartz & Wade, February 2013, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86844-3

Hey! I'm an old guy. Count me as one who heard all about Willie Mays back before the current President was even born.

What a fun book this is!

"Birmingham, Alabama. 1941. A kid with his ear glued to the radio.
"'We interrupt this program for an important announcement. Joe DiMaggio has just homered off Red Sox pitcher Dick Newsome, extending his hitt
Laura Salas
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’m not a baseball fan. I just don’t care much about it. And while I’ve definitely heard of Willie Mays, I didn’t know much about him. But I met cool illustrator Terry Widener last year in Texas, and I saw great reviews for this book, so I had to check it out.

The lenticular cover bringing Mays’ swing to life is a fun start to a really good book. Of course, it gives lots of info about Willie Mays, but the story illuminates a lot about American history, racial prejudice, and civil rights. And it
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-set
1. Power at the Plate By: John Ciecien (2011)
2. The books deal with baseball and each person in the book both had somebody that they looked up too. So the students maybe able to infer the feelings easily between Willie Mays and Luke. I chose this book because the book will go well with each other since both characters had to overcome something in order to be great. The students will be able to make connections between Willie Mays and Luke. Both stories also have a great theme and with that being
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"He was the kid who in 1946, at only fifteen years old, got asked to play pro ball in the Negro Leagues with grown men."

"This kid was supposed to be ... the next Babe Ruth, the next Ty Cobb, and yup, even the next Joe DiMaggio, all rolled into one!"

In a very colloquial form of writing, the author tells the amazing story of Willie Mays: from his childhood learning baseball from his dad to his days in the Negro Leagues until he became centerfield for the Giants. His passion for the game and his wo
Alli Marbois
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Willie Mays is a little boy who dreams of becoming a Major League baseball player, even though his African descent leaves him excluded from much of society. The book follows the incredibly talented young boy’s path to baseball, and details his immense success. How did Willie Mays change baseball forever?

This biographical story is part of a larger “You Never Heard of…?!” series, and all the books are charming recounts of important baseball players. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I still enjoyed
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Possible Spoilers
You Never Heard of Willie Mays is a picture book talking about a young and successful baseball player from the Giants named Willie Mays. This book follows a sum up of his life from dreaming kid to one of the few black players on the National League. As a kid he would listen to the radio for his hero Joe Dimaggio and he dreamed of being just like him. Unfortunately the National League didn't allow colored people at the time. As he got older and older he became better and better u
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Huscusson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A young African-American boy has a dream of playing Major League Baseball, not just in your average negro league. Inspired by listening to Joe Damacio play on the radio, he sets off on his journey to the majors. Willie becomes one of the best players in Major League history, second to the great Babe Ruth. Classroom Use: A great lesson to teach for this book is the history of African American leagues and the emergence of these athletes. This book surrounds the idea of an African American boy play ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book "You never heard of Willie Mays" is about a young black kid or dreams of becoming a baseball pro like Joe DiMaggio, but their is only one problem. The major Baseball league didn't allow black people to play in the league. His Dad was in a professional negro baseball league and he played center field, but Willie Didn't want to just achieve playing in a negro league he wanted to be in the major league to show the world that black people are no different than white people

My opinion on this
Oct 18, 2019 added it
The book s about how a young boy wants to grow up and be a professional baseball player. It was during segregation so there was not a lot of privileges for colored people. Wille Mays had a dream to play for the big leagues. So that is what he did he kept on practicing and practicing until he changed baseball history. He was able to be a professorial baseball player.

What i thought of the book was that it is a book that teaches a lesion. It teaches you that no matter what color you are you are the
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this book is very good, it teaches others that Willie Mays was not just famous for how amazing he was a baseball but also he was more than that. He was the first African American to be very popular and win many awards for baseball, especially in the year 1941. Since he was a little boy hes always wanted to play baseball, so when he grew up that's exactly what he did. And he followed his dreams i think that's also a really good message for readers.
I would recommend this book to anyone w
Oct 28, 2019 added it
Willie Mays was born in 1941 Birmingham, Alabama there wasnt alot of money in the area most of the jobs were very hard and long hours to only get paid little. He was always near the radio to hear the ball games. He wanted to be like Joe DiMaggio he told his pop. Willie played like Joe he had the stance and everything, but where he was living down south everyone was racist and rude to Joe and African American people couldn't play in the Major Leagues he could only make it to the Negro League team ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about Willie Mays. He is a very good baseball play he could play in the field and he could hit good. He made some outstanding plays. Willie Mays even had more home runs then Babe Ruth and he is one of the best hitters. But he was taking away from baseball for two years because he had to go to the army. But then he came back just as good as he was.

I think people will like this book because it is a very good book. I think it is a good book because it tells us one of the best baseball
Xavier Juarez
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
You Never Heard of Willie Mays depicts the life of Willie Mays on the baseball field and outside of the baseball field. Jonah Winter has a unique way of presenting the information because there will be context bubbles that are given for an event that is pertained to the page. The context helps you get more background information and a perspective from Willie May's point of view. Some books have the front cover as 3D and changes with the different views you can have on the cover. There are differ ...more
Oct 08, 2019 added it
This book is about a baseball player as you see from the cover but this isn't any regular baseball player this is a inspiring and amazing baseball player and as u read this book you'll see why he is so inspiring and amazing and there is a lot of pictures.

I think this book is just right for about anyone because there is not really any challenging words in this book like other books there might, I think this book could inspire other people to be a better person as well so i hope you read this book
I have heard of Willie Mays but all I really knew was that he was a really good baseball player. I loved all the baseball facts. Willie Mays was a baseball prodigy and starting playing in the Negro Leagues at 14 years old. He started playing in Major League Baseball at age 20. A year later he was drafted to the army and served 2 years. After serving he went back to baseball and continued to be a great player.

This is a nice starting biography and nice addition to the series by Jonah Winter.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-nonfiction
Three stars to the text, five stars to the illustrations. I wasn't crazy about the conversational writing style here (though kids might be warmer to it), but I thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations. Having read a Mays biography fairly recently, this story was familiar to me. Overall, it's a very good introduction to Mays for young readers. I also liked the statistical sidenotes that were included. ...more
Katie Michkiosky
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I enjoyed this book very much! It does a good job explaining the passion WIllie had, and how he overcame challenges to make it to big leagues in baseball. I think students would enjoy reading this, especially if they are into sports.

Trait: Illustrations & and Ideas

Lexile = 850L
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
dumb dumb dumb. This author uses phrasing and spelling that is all but illiterate. The dumbing down is not only unnecessary, but actually offensive to a discerning reader. don't waste your time. the only redeeming factor is the factual historical account. ...more
Deborah Martinez
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love children's books, such a quick and easy way to learn something new! I also love baseball so I loved this story all the way around! ...more
Joey Starr
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I really enjoyed this book. When it comes to black history and sports there is always a story that needs to be told and I think this is one of the great stories. I think the illustrations play a big part in allowing the reader to imagine his life.

Guided reading: N/A
DRA Level: N/A
Traits: idea
Gerald Kinro
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
This is a good book for a young audience. Nicely illustrated, it goes over the highlights of one of baseball's greatest. ...more
Very good. And very interesting. I love baseball and it was nice to learn a little more about Mays.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball, biography
This is an excellent children's book with amazing illustrations.
It features Willie Mays and also his hero, Joe DiMaggio.
I wanna be the next Joe DiMaggio.

Another children's book I found on Baseball that is so well illustrated is Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball by David A Kelly.
Lena Blackburne started baseball in 1910; born October 23rd 1886 in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania. He was no Cy Young nor Babe Ruth but he did become a coach. His 'mud' made it to th
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gr. 3-5
This is a very well-done biography picture book. Bravo! Great notes opposite the title page should not be overlooked - called "Author's Note." The front cover has a 3D effect of Willie batting. This story describes the civil rights era, effect it had on baseball, great stories of his achievements in sports and great illustrations. There are lots of fact boxes at the bottom of pages with very good information. There are also lots of baseball statistics throughout the story so you can compare Will ...more
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Jonah Winter is the celebrated author of many picture book biographies, including Barack, which was a New York Times bestseller. His books include Here Comes the Garbage Barge, Sonia Sotomayor, Roberto Clemente, and more. A poet and a painter, Mr. Winter divides his time between Santa Fe and a small town in Pennsylvania.

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