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Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Inspired by the life of pioneering female baseball player Alta Weiss, and dramatized by Terry Widener’s bold illustrations, Girl Wonder tells the unforgettable story of a true American original.

Alta Weiss was born to play baseball, simple as that. From the age of two, when she hurls a corncob at a pesky tomcat, folks in her small Ohio town know one thing for sure: She may
Paperback, 40 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Aladdin (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  179 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Endya Melvin
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hopkinson, D. (2003). Girl Wonder. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Sub Group: Gender Roles
Genre: Fiction
Topics: baseball, father daughter relationship
Girl Wonder, is a great picture book about a girl who loved to play baseball. Not only did she love baseball, but she could play the sport very well. She went through her entire childhood and teenage years playing baseball, and ended up joining an all-male, semi-pro baseball team.
Susan Huddleston
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educ-378-spring
This book is based on a true story. I categorized it as text-to-world due to all of the women's right issues in today's society. Alta Weiss was a young girl that wanted to play baseball. The men made fun of her and doubted her ability. She had to prove to them she did. She ended up playing for a semipro team in Ohio. She went on to become one of the first women doctors in the early 1900's.

I'm still waiting on the first female pro ball player.
When Alta Weiss throws a corncob at a tomcat chasing her favorite hen, folks know one thing for sure: she may be a girl, but she's got some arm. At the age of six Alta can nail any target, and by seventeen she's outpitched every boy in town. Then one day her father takes Alta to Vermilion, Ohio -- home of the semipro baseball team called the Independents. "Where do I sign up?" she asks. But one look at Alta tells the coach all he needs to know: She's a girl, and girls can't play baseball. But fa ...more
Jeni Enjaian
As a girl who loves baseball, though one no where near as talented as Alta Weiss, I knew I would love this book from the moment I read the subtitle.
I love how Hopkinson divided the narrative into nine chapters or innings. She could have just let the narrative flow and the story would still run its course fairly well. It would have have had the same pizazz if she had done that, however.
The illustrations by Terry Widener also appear to have marinated in the history and culture of the time. They fo
Krista Clinton
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Girl Wonder is a story about a biography about Alta Weiss who proves that girls can play baseball despite claims that they can't. This is an inspiring story that teaches that you should always go after your dreams; don't let anyone tell you that you can't. It would be great in a 2nd grade classroom for teaching comprehension as well as new vocabulary.
Kris Dersch
There's a lot to this little book. First of all, it is a great introduction to Alta Weiss, turn of the century baseball player and future doctor who was decades ahead of her time. Great illustrations. The nine inning format is a little cluttering and might not translate well to read-aloud, but still a delight for young baseball fans.
Featured on the No Extra Words Podcast Episode 108.
Kanika Reno
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: el230
I chose to read this book because it is always nice to see books written about women that have been successful in sports. Specifically, breaking the stereotype that “girls can’t play baseball.” I liked this book because it was a cute picture book recounting Alta’s time playing ball, impressing all those that once doubted her ability.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: el-230
The Girl Wonder book is an amazing book! I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. The author does a great job at showing how woman who played sports in the old days were treated. The book showed the evolution of woman athletes. Great history book. Also a fun way to teach about the importance of woman history!
Jessica Starzyk
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
Being a girl, I was proud of this book. I love a good story about women break down barriers and showing the world that women can do things that men do! Women do not have to wear dresses and cook in a kitchen to be considered a "real woman". I am glad there is a fun book to inspire the young women of today.

Genre: Biography
Grades: K-3
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! The discussions you could have with this book! First, the idea of non-traditional roles. A girl can play baseball just like Troy Bolton can sing in a musical. There’s a story of persistence, of not letting others get you down, This would pair up well with Teammates, a baseball book about Jackie Robinson. A definite book for my book a day as I think about next year.
The story of Alta Weiss, a young woman who pitched for a semi-pro, men's baseball team, the Vermilion Independents. She also became a doctor, graduating from medical school in 1914, the only woman in her class.
Kolbe Bales
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book would inspire a lot of girls to go out and strive for their goals. No matter if that's competing against the boys like she did or just trying to get better every day. This book could even inspire boys as well. Great book to have in the classroom!
Bonnie Tesch
This felt like about 40% of a great story.
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I think young children can get a lot from this story about how people should never be judged by their cover.

Reminded me of A League of their Own.
Kayla O
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
this book shares a powerful meaning. if you have not read it yet i think you should
Justin Dolezal
Girl Wonder is about a young girl who was told that baseball was a sport for men and men only, but she had a love for the game and so she wanted a shot and so she decided to push through the ridicule and kept on going. Great book to teach about hard work and determination to get to where you want to be.
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
3rd-5th Grade
Debra Hopkins brings this story about a female baseball player on a semi-pro team in 1907 to life with a first person perspective as the reader is Alta Weiss. The book is broken up into nine innings and follows her through to show that she became a Doctor after her playing days. I believe female students will especially like the way that she was encouraged do what ever the boys were doing her whole life. The story shows her love for baseball and the encouragement she received from h
Hyeonjeong Lee
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction - I like this book very much because this story is based on the true story of a girl and the illustrations are very detailed in expressing feelings.

Read aloud to K-2 children for several potential purposes:
- The girl has shown her braveness by playing baseball though some people were pessimistic about her playing. She has overcome gender discrimination and finally showed her ability by playing baseball successfully. It will help children to have braveness against soci
538PM_Bela Patel
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book does an outstanding job of immersing the reader in the era of the early 1900’s. From the illustrations of Alta in her blue middie dress to the representations of the front page articles printed about her at the time, the reader is left with no doubt that we are talking about an historical period pre-dating today’s world of baseball. This is an inspiring book that encourages the reader with the idea that if you believe in yourself, regardless of what others may think, and you keep pursu ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book Girl Wonder is about a girl named Alta Weiss. A women who was born to play baseball. Alta hears about a semipro team and see's a big chance. This is the story of the first women baseball pitcher and her journey on the field and how she proved everyone wrong.

Deborah Hopkinson did an okay job showing Weiss's journey through her baseball career but i think she could of done a better job showing the struggle and backlash Weiss got as being the first women in baseball. Hopkinson has many bo
Amanda Zell
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: pbgs-1
The main character, never given a name, tells her "against the odds" story of playing baseball and beating down the idea that girls can't play.

This story is divided up into nine innings starting from when the author was two years old to a grown woman. This realistic fiction book is an inspiration, especially to girls, that you can beat down everyone's doubt if you put your mind to it. The book would be great for a read-aloud in a lower level elementary school classroom, maybe for an opening acti
Alta Weiss started throwing corncobs at the age of 2. First throwing corncobs at the cat and then pitching at targets on the barn. Alta loved baseball and was good at it. Her family supported her desire to play baseball. She was so talented that she was allowed to pitch for a semi-pro all male baseball team at 17. At the end of her second season with the Vermilion Independents, Alta is accepted, and attends, medical school, the only woman in the class of 1914. The book follows her life in 9 inni ...more
Catherine Woodman
First of all, I really loved the illustrations in this--the people have very expressive faces that I found really appealing. In addition, the book is set up to teach a little bit of the history of women in baseball, and is told in 9 innings, so has an emphasis on the game itself for young kids. I think in the post-Title IX world, it is really great to show girls that women have had a passion for sports for a very long time, and in the old days, this was a novelty, to watch a woman play. Good for ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
"Girl Wonder" is truly a wonder of a book! The book is about a girl who loves baseball and is great at it, but is told she can't play once she is older. However, she ends up being given a chance to play in a semipro game and show everyone that girls can play ball too. I love the storyline, which is inspiring to girls but will appeal to boys as well. Furthermore, the illustrations are well done and make the book fun and funny.

Publication Date: 2003
Age/Grade level: Kindergarten to 2nd grade
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Inspired by the life of female baseball player, Alta Weiss, who--at the age of seventeen--became the actual pitcher for a semi-pro all male baseball team in 1907. An amazing accomplishment for such a young woman in such a restrictive time period. And it happened right here in Ohio! According to the author's note, Ms. Weiss also went on to become a doctor, graduating in 1914--the only woman in her class. I was surprised I had never heard of her!
Kathy Ellen Davis
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a cool book!
I love baseball and had never heard this story.

I loved the format of telling the story in 9 innings.
Awesome timeline in the back for more info,
and some great phrases in the book.

I LOVE how the story opens; I won't give it all away but it does involve an ear of corn.

Another great story that everyone should know by Deborah Hopkinson.

The illustrations are perfect too.
McKinzie Elton

"This lesson focuses on getting the students interested in the book and similes by dressing up in baseball uniform and using bases for stations. To start the lesson, I would activate background knowledge of baseball and similes by a group brainstorm on what the students knew about both. We then would read the story and the students would go to their assigned base to come up with their own similes."
Rosa Cline
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is told kind of in poem format but a fun poem format. Each page has about four lines telling the story of a little girl who wants to play baseball like the boys at the time when girls didn't play. Very interesting story as you learn of the progress of girls in baseball. At the end is a timeline of women's baseball. On the back of our book is an actual photo of the real girl in the story.
Apr 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Cute story about a girl who played baseball back in the day. Perfect to share with Sunyata, who just played in her first tee ball game. And girls still can't play baseball! Next year she starts softball...
The best part of this book was the photo on the back of the real woman in a full-length skirt winding up for the pitch!
Raven Grider
Apr 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Since there are so many books about girls playing baseball, I found this one to be sub-par compared to other books based on the same topic. The storyline is great, however, the illustrations are a little outdated. I would use this story when discussing gender due to the fact that the entire plot centers around a woman baseball player.
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I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction. I love history and talking with young readers. In 2020-21 I am launching #ZoomingIntoHistory with Deborah Hopkinson!


ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY JANE was a 2019 Oregon Book Award finalist and both HOW I BECAME a SPY and CARTER REA

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