The Spy Who Played Baseball
Moe Berg is not a typical baseball player. He’s Jewish—very unusual for the major leagues in the 1930s—has a law degree, speaks several languages, and loves traveling the world. He also happens to be a spy for the U.S. government. When World War II begins, Moe trades his baseball career for a life of danger and secrecy. Using his unusual range of skills, he sneaks into enemy territory to gather crucial information that could help defeat the Nazis. But he also has plenty of secrets of his own. . .
|Interest Level||Kindergarten - Grade 4|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Genre||Fiction, Picture Books|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®, Lerner Digital ™|
|Number of Pages||32|
Jewish Community Voice (Southern New Jersey)
“Moe Berg is not a typical baseball player. He’s Jewish—very unusual for the major leagues in the 1930s—has a law degree, speaks several languages and loves traveling the world. He also happens to be a spy for the U.S. government. When World War II begins, Moe trades his baseball career for a life of danger and secrecy. Using his unusual range of skills, he sneaks into enemy territory to gather crucial information that could help defeat the Nazis. But he also has plenty of secrets of his own.
Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Karla Gudeon’s illustrations bring Ben Zion—and the rebirth of Hebrew—to life.” – Jewish Link of New Jersey
The Jewish Chronicle
“The Spy Who Played Baseball is the story of Moe Berg, a real-life major-league baseball player of the 1930s. Carrie Jones’s picture book (KarBen, £5.69) tells the story of this quietly brilliant man, who studied at Princeton and would exchange tactical remarks with his college team mates in Latin during baseball games. Like Sarah, a talented linguist, he was enlisted as a spy in the Second World War and was sent to gather intelligence about German progress in atomic weaponry. Age seven to nine.” – The Jewish Chronicle
Baseball player—Moe Berg—who went by the name of Runt Wolfe—“didn’t just steal bases. He stole enemy secrets.” Jones describes Berg’s childhood in New Jersey, where his love for baseball was matched by his love of learning. Berg played for the Dodgers and White Sox, where he stood out for his Jewish background and his intelligence. In Cherrington’s polished cartoons, Berg is a rather nondescript character with dark curly hair; wide, searching wyes; and a forceful expression. Beginning in 1943, his desire to defeat the Nazis led Berg to work with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, gathering intelligence in Europe. Readers won’t learn about Berg’s status on the field or his personal life; instead, Berg is presented as a principled and enigmatic figure, “a man with many secrets.” Ages 5-9.
“Jones gives readers the sketchy details of Berg’s life and exploits in carefully selected anecdotes, employing accessible, straightforward syntax. Cherrington’s bright cartoons capture the events and subtly convey Berg’s differences from the gentiles who surround him. A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too. (afterword) (Picture book/ biography. 9-12)” – Kirkus Reviews
Illustrator: Gary Cherrington
Gary Cherrington has always daydreamed and drawn from his imagination. A former touring puppeteer, he illustrates from his studio in Brighton in the United Kingdom.
Author: Carrie Jones
Carrie Jones is the New York Times bestselling author of the NEED series and spends her time in Maine where she lives with her family, which includes a kitten named Sparta, an obese cat, and two very silly and very large white dogs. She has won numerous awards for her writing and photographs, but she would prefer to win cowboy hats.