Before Hank Aaron was in the Baseball Hall of Fame, he was Henry Aaron. Tavares has written a wonderful straight forward biography of Aaron's early years.
Born in Mobile Alabama during segregation in the 1940's, Henry Aaron still dreamed of playing baseball. When he was thirteen, Jackie Robinson with the first African American in the major leagues.
I loved the overlap of Henry Aaron's time in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns to the Majors. Tavares also points out other Black ballplayers who got their start in the Negro Leagues like Larry Doby, Monte Irvin and Jackie Robinson
A big part of baseball is its history, that includes the Negro Leagues. The author doesn't gloss over Henry Aaron's years with the Indianapolis Clowns.
In 1953, Henry Aaron's Class A team won the pennant. There was a party at a restaurant in Savannah, GA. The three Black players, including Henry Aaron the MVP were not allowed. I believe for many young readers (baseball fans or not), watching three Black men playing cards in the kitchen may put segregation into perspective.
The illustrations are great. One of my favorites is the Colored section entrance to an exhibition game in Mobile, between Braves (Aaron's team) and the Dodgers. Everyone in dressed up, looking so happy, proud, waving their tickets and ready to go watch one of their own
The biography ends with Henry Aaron making it into the Majors. In the authors note, Travares talks about Henry Aaron becoming home run leader. Also the impact many of first Black ballplayers in MLB had on the Civil Rights Movement. Ages 5up Scheduled release date Jan 12.
While you wait check out these other great nonfiction baseball books
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter
Satchel Paige by Lesa Cline-ransome
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson