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A High Five for Glenn Burke

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A heartfelt and relatable novel from Phil Bildner, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke--the first professional baseball player to come out as gay--into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself.

When sixth grader Silas Wade does a school presentation on former Major Leaguer Glenn Burke, it's more than just a report
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Paul  Hankins
I was seven years old in 1977. I might have collected baseball cards if they were on sale at Kmart and I may have actually had a box of Kmart baseball cards that I mixed with Star Wars cards in order to build elaborate card houses that would take up the living room of our mobile home in northern Michigan.

One of those cards may have been one of Glenn Burke. But I wouldn't have known about Glenn Burke. Would not have seen his contribution to the game (or to our culture at large). Glenn Burke
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

While choosing an invention for a class project, Silas decides to do his report on Glenn Burke, the first person to give a high five.

Silas very purposely chose Glenn Burke. Like Silas, Glenn Burke was a baseball player. Also like Silas, Glenn Burke was gay.

Silas has just figured this out for himself, and he hasn’t yet shared this with anyone. He decides to share it with his best friend Zoey, but when Zoey doesn’t
Bonnie Grover
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
“You be you. Keep being authentic.” I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this MG novel, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a story Glenn Burke, a Major League Baseball player who invented the high five and was a gay baseball player in the 1970’s. It’s also a story about coming out, “Your coming out... is going to be extraordinary, it’s not going to be easy, but it will be extraordinary.” A powerful novel that delivers a good message, there’s no one way to come out. I hope this book finds a young ...more
Cindy Christiansen
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this very authentic feeling novel about Silas and his semi-obsession with Glenn Burke, baseball player, inventor of the high five, and gay man. Silas is gay, too, but it’s a secret. His presentation on Burke is a step toward sharing his truth. He tells a few select people after that but struggles with so much of his decisions. “ drives home the message that there’s no one way to come out — and there’s a place on the field for everyone.”
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, middle-grade
Everyone loved the presentation that sixth grader Silas gave on Glenn Burke, the baseball player who invented the high five-- but what he didn't mention is that Glenn Burke was gay, something that Silas has been thinking about a lot. He's the star of his own little league team, and can't help but wonder-- would his friends treat him differently if they knew he was gay, too? This novel is beautiful, simple, and sweet; Bildner scores a home run with his compelling way of recounting overlooked ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must have for all middle school libraries and classrooms. The story of Silas owning and sharing his truth through the clever use of researching the history of the high five was masterfully crafted by author Phil Bildner. This book hits a homerun with its sensitivity and honest coming out story of a young boy.
Scott Rosenberg
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great and relevant read for today!
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LOVED it! Can’t wait to share it with Abby!!!
Patricia Murphy
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another great Phil Bildner novel. Interlacing the history of 1st baseball player to come out as gay & journey of 6th grader Silas. Relatable. Silas lives for baseball, loves The Sandlot, and has an incredible coach. Powerful story.
Katie Reilley
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition.

This MG novel starts off with 6th grade Silas performing in a school presentation on former MLB player Glenn Burke. Being a baseball player and lover of the game, Silas choose Burke because he invented the high-five. And Silas thinks that’s pretty cool. But it’s more than just that. Silas also feels like he connects with Glenn Burke, a gay baseball player in the 70s. Doing the presentation is a baby step for
Ms. Yingling
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edleweiss Plus

Silas Wade is eager to do his school report on Glenn Burke, who started the High Five handshake that is now omnipresent in our culture. He is nervous, but does a great job on his presentation, impressing his teacher. There's something about Burke, however, that he is afraid to mention; Burke was the first openly gay major league player, and Silas identifies with Burke. Silas does tell his best friend Zoey, who is very supportive, and it helps that the coaches on
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Silas Walker does a presentation about former Major League Baseball player Glenn Burke for his sixth grade class, complete (thanks to assistance from his best friend), sound effects and extra drama. Glenn Burke invented the high five in 1977. That blew my mind. (And it's really true!) The high five was invented after I was born. seems like it would have been centuries older, right? And it's wild that it was at a baseball game, so it's documented to the exact time and place.

What Silas doesn't
Lorie Barber
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really did not think I’d finish A HIGH FIVE FOR GLENN BURKE in 2019. I have a lot of work to do, both personally and professionally.

But all that work and busy-ness got pushed to the side once I picked up this book and started reading it this morning. It came with me to the dentist and joined me at the chiropractor, even cajoling me into read a chapter after my appointment before I began driving home. I couldn’t put it down.

Silas’ story - one of coming out and coming to terms with who he is -
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of The Best at It and Better Nate Than Ever
I was impressed by A High Five for Glenn Burke! Bildner includes a good balance between history, sports, and family and friend drama, and Silas is a fun and well-developed character (who read to me as having some undiagnosed ADHD, anyone agree?). This is just such a feel-good story, and I can see it appealing to a lot of kids. I can definitely say I learned from it. Only three criticisms, and they're all pretty minor:
-There's a lot of baseball lingo and play-by-play that occasionally lost me,
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review to come for SLJ.
Feb 06, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020, arc-galley
Queer content: MG coming out narrative
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Phil Bildner is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. His latest book is the groundbreaking, #OwnVoices middle grade novel, A High Five for Glenn Burke. He is the author of many children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, the Texas Bluebonnet Award winning Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, Martina & Chrissie, ...more