Friday, July 23, 2010

All Star! Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever


Title: All Star! Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Jim Burke
Publisher / Date: Penguin Group / 2010
Genre: biography, picture book
Themes: baseball, biography, sports
Summary: Yolen tells the story of Honus Wagner, whose family was from Germany. Wagner grew up poor and worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines. Wagner's amazing athletic ability eventually landed him a career in major league baseball in the early 1900's, winning the National League batting championship for 8 years. He even had his own baseball card which was then placed in cigarette containers. Since Wagner did not want children buying cigarettes in order to obtain his baseball card, he asked that his card be removed. Since the cards were pulled, only a few were sold and have become the most famous and most expensive baseball cards ever. Yolen notes that one of these rare Wagner cards sold at an auction in 2007 for nearly three million dollars. 
Curriculum Connections: Grades 2-5 Social Studies: famous Americans; Math (calculate how much Wagner earned per year and compare that to MLB players' salaries today; compare Wagner's stats with other famous baseball players)
Notes: Baseball fans are sure to love this biography!

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