Book review: Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story, by Emily Arnold McCully

McCully, Emily Arnold. Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson. 2015. $17.99. unp. 978-0-374-30007-4. Ages 5-8.  P8Q9

McCully Queen of the DiamondCaldecott Medalist for Mirette on the High Wire and author of Marvelous Mattie has a new subject, the first woman to play on both major league and all-star team and who went pro at age of 18 in 1912. Lively watercolors show the early 20th century and six-year-old Lizzie Murphy playing catch with her brother and later being “batboy” for his baseball team before she showed her stuff in fielding and hitting. Girls weren’t supposed to play baseball at that time, but she stayed with the sport while she worked at a textile mill, she stayed with baseball. At 18, she demanded equal pay when she joined a semipro team. She managed to support herself and later marry—both things that her mother told her she wouldn’t be able to do—and became the Queen of Baseball after playing professionally for 17 years. The author’s note gives more information about Murphy and her photo.

Summer 2015 reviews by Nel Ward.

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