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Just Like Josh Gibson

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The story goes... Grandmama could hit the ball a mile,

catch anything that was thrown,

and do everything else --

just like Josh Gibson.

But unfortunately, no matter how well a girl growing up in the 1940s played the game of baseball, she would have faced tremendous challenges. These challenges are not unlike those met by the legendary Josh Gibson, arguably the best Negro-Leagu
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  166 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So charming I almost couldn’t handle it.
Oct 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-early
Genre: fiction, picture book
Topic: baseball
Theme: gender roles, ethnic roles,
Illustrations: The illustrations are true to the time period. They look like pastel sketches. They are not very clear but they still do a good job of illustrating the text. They are highly supportive of the text.
Use: Read aloud, children's theater, guided reading, independent reading
Reading Level: Early
Literary Elements: repetition


Just Like Josh Gibson is the story of a young, African-American girl who wants t
I listened to the Book Just Like Josh Gibson by Angela Johnson on the Tumble Books website. The story is about an African American h=girl in the 1940's who wanted nothing more than to play baseball. But girls didn't play baseball in the 1940's. She finally got her chance and it was a story to tell for years to come. It is an inspiring story about following your dreams and not giving up. I thought the woman's voice who read the story on the Tumble Books website was actually not very interesting. ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books, edli-200
Title: Just Like Josh Gibson

Author: Angela Johnson

Categories/Genres: PebbleGo/Realistic Fiction

Copyright date: 2004

Estimate of age level of interest: Age 4-8

Estimate of reading level: 2nd - 3rd Grade

Brief description: A little girl describes her grandmother’s interest in playing baseball.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book.
The version of Just like Josh Gibson found on Tumble is great for 1st and 2nd grade students. While adults
Krista Lockwood
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summary: In the 1940’s girls didn’t play baseball. No matter how hard they could try girls just couldn’t play baseball. Even African Americans had trouble becoming big during this time as well. Until Josh Gibson came into the picture. Because of his race, he was never able to make it into the major leagues, but he did become legendary in the Negro League. Follow along this story of a grandmother tells her granddaughter all about Gibson.

Review: “Just Like Josh Gibson” is a great story to persever
Tecora Jenkins
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just Like Josh Gibson by Michael L. Printz Award-winning author, Angela Johnson is a charming picture book about a conversation between a grandmother and her granddaughter surrounding a family tradition. The book sheds light on the gender inequality faced in the 1940's-a time that was not directly stated in the text. This book would serve as a fantastic hearty book to read during the month of February in celebration of Black History month and would serve as a good book to base a conversation aro ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Picture Books

Copyright Date: 2004

Estimate of age level of interest: Kindergarten-Grade 4

Estimate of reading level: Grade 2

Brief description:A young girl tells the story of her grandmother's love for baseball and a special memory of an important game.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book:
Point of view: This book is told from the point of view of the granddaughter telling h
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Angela Johnson, receiver of the Michael L. Printz award , writes an inspiring book about baseball. The main character’s Grandma shares her story of how she was grown to love baseball. The grandmother’s father would teach her how to play and although she can hit, run, and play well, just like Josh Gibson. However, she wasn’t allowed to play with the other boys because she was a girl. Except one day, she finally got her chance to play and show how amazing of a player she is. Josh Gibson was a f ...more
Cristina Quintero
This richly illustrated historical-fiction picture book empowers girls to take on non-traditional roles in sports. This story is about the main character's childhood baseball memories. The main character narrates the story of how her father dreamed to have a son to teach him how to play like Josh Gibson, but instead of the son, life rewards him with a daughter. Determine to hit and play just like Josh Gibson the young girl spends endless hours with her ball and bat. Knowing that would never be a ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about an African American women that recalls her childhood. She is telling her granddaughter about her memories and how much she loved baseball. She tells about how she wanted to be just like Josh Gibson a skilled player in the black league at the time since he was not allowed to play in the MLB. She tells about how he hit home run balls so far and so frequently that he could have beat out any white player at that time. She tells about how girls were not allowed to play baseball at ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Picture book about an African-American girl in the 1940s who wants to play baseball just like Josh Gibson, who was called the "Babe Ruth of the Negro Leagues". Like Josh Gibson, who is denied an opportunity to play in the majors, the girl is denied a chance to play in her local Little League because she is a girl. A stroke of fate allows her to sub for her cousin on his team once, and she plays "just like Josh Gibson". The art is not my favorite, and the expressions on the faces are odd, but the ...more
Marissa Musso
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book did a great job addressing male and female differences and expectations of them in the forties. I think that this would be a great bring to bring into a classroom to raise conversation about gender descrepancies and race! I also thought it would draw attention to boy readers and could cause suprise in them to know its about a girl who was good at baseball!
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think the idea of having a woman in a role that isn't typically a women's role (especially in this time period) is a great concept. However, I just found the book boring. I've listened to the tumblebook version at least 3 times and it just does not keep my attention.
Melissa Mcavoy
Great account of a young girl in the 40's who excels at baseball and gets one memorable chance to show just how good she is. An afterword includes a substantial biographical note on the great Negro League player Josh Gibson.
Jacey Hull
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to teach about history and baseball.
Davanh Souvanarath
This story was narrated by a young girl retelling her grandma's story of growing up playing baseball. It highlighted how girls were not supposed to play baseball and how the grandma had to stand behind the fence and watch as the boys played baseball. I chose this story for my girl empowerment text set because it shows how the grandmother overcame the stereotypes and showed off her skills. I loved how the story was narrated as a flashback into the grandma's past. The genre is historical fiction. ...more
Tammy J
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-fic
Just like Josh Gibson didn't win any awards but was reviewed on Booklist. This book is inspirational. Josh Gibson was a baseball player. Grandma's papa came to the hospital with a Louisville slugger upon the arrival of the baby. When the girl was old enough he threw baseballs to her. It seems like baseball is in their blood and something they greatly enjoy as a family. During the 40's girls weren't allowed to play baseball. Even though she dreamed about it and played in the fields she knew she c ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520historicalfic
Angela Johnson tells a story of young girl in the 1940's who loved to play baseball. The story is told through Grandmama's granddaughter. She tells of a baseball player Josh Gibson who played for the Negro League, he was never allowed to play in major league baseball. Grandmama looked up to this man and wanted to play just like him. Girls could not play baseball at this time, but young grandmamma sure had all of the skills her father taught her. She was a great baseball player and loved to watch ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This historical fiction book tells the story of a young African- American girl who is faced with the challenges of playing baseball in the 1940’s. Her challenges resemble that of what Josh Gibson endured, who was considered one of the best major league African- American baseball players. When this young girl was born, her father brought a Louisville slugger to the hospital and said that his daughter would, “Make baseballs fly, just like Josh Gibson.”

Johnson, a best-selling author is able to take
Ashley Saunders
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Johnson, A. (2007). Just like josh gibson. Simon & Schuster. Retrieved from

ALA Top Ten Youth Sports Books


This book tells the story of a young girl who was very talented at baseball but was unable to play on any teams because she was a girl. The book takes place in the 40’s and the little girl looked up to the baseball player, Josh Gibson. Ultimately the young girl was able to play in a very important game and was able to prove herself as a ball
Natalia Leston
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Quality Historical Fiction

The book Just Like Josh Gibson is a great way to introduce to students some of the challenges that African Americans faced in the early to mid 1900s. The story of Josh Gibson, arguably one of the best black baseball players in Major League baseball history, is told through the lens of a grandmother who as a child, dreamed of playing baseball just like Josh Gibson. The challenges faced by Gibson parallel those faces by the young girl who was not allowed to play on a base
Just Like Josh Gibson compares gender and race. The girl is not allowed to play baseball because of her gender, just like Josh Gibson was not allowed to play baseball because of his race. This was a beautiful story. The little girl in the story is really Grandmama retelling her childhood memories to her grand-daughter. The photo on the back cover of the book is sitting on the kitchen table, right next to a glove and ball. Do the glove and ball belong to Grandmama or the grand-daughter? The use o ...more
Aaron Gill
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great book about a little girl growing up in the 1940's who just wants to play baseball, like her idol, Josh Gibson. The story is told through the viewpoint of a grandmother talking to her granddaughter.

The grandmother wants nothing more than to play baseball with the local kids; however, she isn't allowed to play in the all star game because she's a girl. The grandmother is better than all the boys and she might just get her chance to play!

This book features nicely drawn, classic past
This book is about segregation in baseball, but not just racial segregation. It comes at the barriers in baseball in an interesting fashion because this book opens the gender barrier up for discussion. Additionally, regular allusions to Josh Gibson hopefully build the reader's interest up enough that they read the author's note at the end that describes the career of Josh Gibson, the greatest hitter of the Negro Leagues and possibly all of baseball. Also discussed at the end of the story is the ...more
Alia Sheya
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just Like Josh Gibson written by Angela Johnson illustrated by Beth Peck. This picture book is narrated by the granddaughter of Grandmamma she tells her grandmothers story back in the 1940's when women did not get equal opportunities. She tells the readers that her grandmother would watch the boys play and only when they were practicing would the team allow her to practice with them she would hit the ball far and powerful. One day a player got hurt and the team needed someone to fill in so they ...more
Lisa E
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs642
Johson, A. (2007). Just like Josh Gibson. Simon & Schuster.

Kirkus Review 2007.

Tumblebooks Category.

A once young African American girl, now a grandmother tells the story of her granddaughter and how baseball was her passion. However her grandma lived in a time when it was not common for girls to play this sport.

The book also presents discriminations issues at that time, not only for the gender but also for the race. The book definitely targets gender roles at that time. I would definitely use
Aleksa Mervil
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story is told by a granddaughter, about her African American grandmother who loved baseball, but growing up in the 1940s could not play on the team. This book deals with a lot of discriminations on different levels. In the 1940's professional baseball was split into two leagues based on race. Girls and sports was frowned upon . But the Grandmother in this story doesn't let any of that interfere with her love of sports. When she is allowed to play she makes the best of it. Great story about ...more
Demi Sienna
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This story has sports, family, and history in it. It multicultural and developmentally -appropriate for children. This is the story of a young girl who wants and loves to play Baseball but in 1940 it is definitely hard to be a black girl that wants to play Baseball, especially like Josh GIbson who was a professional player at the Negro League. Definitely a very inspiring story for young black girls to always go after their dreams no matter what. This book is a nice addition to my multicultural t ...more
Vanessa Wilder
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 50-outside-books
This is about a young girl who faced many challenges in this society to being a baseball player. This is truly a story about having a tribute to the best known baseball player, Josh Gibson who never made it to the major Leagues, and her grievances to the dreams of those who were deferred. There are people who can play just as well as men in sports, but the eyes of society did not want to see this happen.

Act: Write about a time when an obstacle came your way, but in the end triumph was there to h
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved playing baseball growing up, and I would go out and play with the boys after school was out.

This book tells of a baseball loving family, and a ball player they admired. When a daughter was born, the dad said she would play like Josh Gibson, the player they liked. They would throw the baseball to her when she was a young child, and she developed a love and talent for playing baseball. She usually couldn't play with the boys, but when she did, she played very well. One day her brother was
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