You may know that there is a book reading competition in Oregon called Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB). You have to read the 16 books assigned by OBOB, and remember some very specific details. Then, you and your team will have a battle against another team in which you see who can answer more “detail questions.” On my quest to read all the books, I stumbled upon Out Of Left Field by Ellen Klages. It was the third book in the series, about a girl named Katy (that uses the nickname Casey). She played baseball with the other boys. She was really good too. But she lived in San Francisco at a time where women baseball players were not accepted. So when she registered for Little League, she was rejected because she was female. However, they mentioned in the rejection letter that “[baseball] has always been the sole province of male athletes.” So, this sends Casey searching for a needle in a haystack, or in other words some professional women baseball players, while making a few friends along the way.
The book is mostly wrapped around the idea that no matter how long it takes, inequality and injustice will be solved. This is helpful to remember in our hearts, especially for me, who at some points in life, just wants to break some rules like other kids. I watch kids who play video games when I study, and at some points, I wonder what I am missing out on, even though I know it is wrong. But, I always remember that in the end, I will get better grades, get a better education, get a better job, and turn out better. It also has an idea that no matter who you are, what you do, or what is your background, you are never alone. Casey found a network of females who felt the exact same way as her on baseball. I value these ideas and hope you will think well of them too.
The book also has a very obvious motive of teaching us, the readers, that these women baseball players exist! I had never even heard of such a thing, and happy to support these characters in their route to fame. I also like how the author doesn't mind adding some extra pages to talk about non-baseball related aspects of Casey’s life, like when she talked about the launch of Sputnik.
Overall, I really liked the book for its morals, format, and plot. And if this book sounds appealing to you, look out for Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages in libraries and bookstores near you. Trust me. Your book will have a couple of creases by the time you put it down.
Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages. Puffin Books, 2019. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!