Bat 6 (book)
|Author||Virginia Euwer Wolff|
|Original Publication Date||1998|
|Awards||American Library Association Notable Book, 1999; Jane Addams Peace Award, 1999|
Set in 1949, two small towns in Oregon are rivals in the girls' softball game of the year, Bat 6 (1998). On the Bear Creek Ridge team, Aki Mikami is the new girl is who has just returned after being "sent away to a camp" with her family since 1942. All the 6th grade girls were too young to remember Aki and her family leaving, and the adults would talk in whispers amongst themselves about what happened, but not to the children. Aki is shy but she is an amazing ball player (her mother was MVP for Bat 6 in 1930) and girls take to her immediately. The opposing Bat 6 team, Barlow, also recruits a talented new player named Shazam—a troubled girl who has come to live with her grandmother. She hates the Japanese because her father was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ballgame culminates in a catastrophic incident between Shazam and Aki. Told in retrospectives by the girls who make up the two softball teams, the chapters peel back the evolution of the incident which reveals the conflicts in the small community both before and after the war.
Author Virginia Euwer Wolff (1937– ) grew up in Parkdale, Oregon, in the Hood River Valley, an area that drew national press for an anti-Japanese episode in the early postwar years. At the first Day of Remembrance in Hood River in 2007, she recalled Japanese American friends coming back to school after the war and the community silence about their experiences. She later attended Smith College and lived on the East Coast for nearly two decades before returning to Oregon in 1976, where she taught high school. She has published six books for young people, one of which—True Believer—won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2001. Bat 6 also received several awards, including the Jane Addams Children's Book Award.
For More Information
Bat 6 on Virginia Euwer Wolff's website.
Bat 6 on Scholastic website.
- Linda Tamura, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012), 246.
- Susan Fletcher, Virginia Euwer Wolff (1937–), Oregon Encyclopedia, http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/wolff_virginia_euwer_1937_/#.VRWnKSljDTw and Virginia Euwer Wolff website, http://www.virginiaeuwerwolff.com/about/about.html, both accessed on March 26, 2015.