Stars in the Shadows

Stars in the Shadows Cover

Stars in the Shadows

The Negro League All-Star Game of 1934

By Charles R. Smith, Jr.; Frank Morrison (Illustrator)

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780689866388, 106pp.

Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Meet Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and other baseball heroes in this unique radio broadcast reenactment of a legendary All-Star Game, marking a pivotal time in sports history.
"1934, Chicago." Come step back in time to witness the best of the best Negro League players take each other on in one of the most fascinating All-Star ballgames in American history.
Using a unique radio broadcast transcript, Coretta Scott King Award Winner Charles R. Smith, Jr. has recreated this momentous event with a lively play-by-play retelling of the second annual Negro League East-West Game. Meet legendary players like Satchel Paige, Turkey Stearness, and Cool Pappa Bell, hang in the stands with the fans, and experience this exhilarating untold, true story with a lyrical twist.
"Stars in the Shadows" is a must-have for any baseball aficionado or anyone interested in forgotten history. Beautifully packaged and with incredible black-and-white illustrations by Frank Morrison, this is a rare and extraordinary book.

About the Author
Charles R. Smith Jr. says that while growing up in California, he read anything he could get his hands on. "Reading books filled with stories and poems inspired me to write my own," he says. "The more I read, the more I wrote. And if I wasn't reading a book, I was playing a sport: I played everything, particularly basketball, and spent many afternoons on the court, perfecting my jump shot." While working on his high school yearbook as a writer, Charles R. Smith Jr. was introduced to photography and immediately decided to make a career out of it. He graduated from photography school and headed to New York to pursue his dream. "I continued with my writing, and, with a heavy influence of rap music,
began writing more poetry instead of stories," he says. "Now, I have combined my photographic skills with my love of reading, writing, and sports to create an exciting career for myself!" Among the books the poet-photographer has written and illustrated is RIMSHOTS: BASKETBALL PIX, ROLLS, AND RHYTHMS, which was selected as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book.

Mary Brigid Barrett is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. She is also president and executive director of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, and editor of the NCBLA publication Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. She lives in Massachusetts.

Praise For Stars in the Shadows

“Baseball fans will feel they are at the ballpark when they read this account of the second annual Negro Leagues’ East-West game. The illustrations bring to mind the past and an Author’s Note explains the origin of the game. Fan favorites included Cool Papa Bell, Jimmie Crutchfeld, Oscar Charleston, Stachel Paige, Turkey Stearnes, and Mule Suttles. This book would be a wonderful read-aloud, as students will get the feel of the broadcast even more.”—Library Media Connection

“Writing in snappy rhymed couplets, Smith delivers a play-by-play, inning-by-inning account of the second annual East-West Classic, held in Chicago in 1934, an all-star face-off between the best players from the Negro League. Working in graphite, Morrison contributes full-bleed and spot illustrations of dynamic, athletic players in motion.”—Publishers Weekly

Use this book as an exciting complement to Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship.”—Booklist