The Spy Who Played Baseball

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 4   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

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. . .

Format List Price Your Price Qty
978-1-51240-313-8
$17.99 $13.49
978-1-51245-864-0
$7.99 $7.99
978-1-51249-847-9
$35.99 $26.99
978-1-54152-894-9
$39.98 $29.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Fiction, Picture Books
Copyright 2018
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ™, Lerner Digital ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2018-03-01
BISACS JUV032010, JUV016080, JUV033020
Dewey 796.357092 [B]
Graphics 1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 790
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Reviews

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

Booklist

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.

Kirkus Reviews

“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

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.

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.