Girl Wonder

A Baseball Story in Nine Innings

Author and Illustrator

Author: Deborah Hopkinson Illustrator: Terry Widener
  • Born: Lowell, Massachusetts
  • LOVED reading and always wanted to be a writer
  • Writes historical fiction picture books on "forgotten figures" in history


  • SCBWI Golden Kite Award-picture book text
  • YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction honor

About the Book

Publishing Info: Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 2003

  • Great Lakes Book Award for Girl Wonder
  • Jane Addams Honor Award


Alta Weiss was a girl born to play baseball. At a young age she was able to hit any target and as she grew up so did her passion for the game. She was supported by her family and would practice all the time; she even convinced the local boys to let her play. Her dad took her took a semipro team try out for a team called the Independents where she had to do the convincing once again to let a girl play ball because according to the coach she's a girl and they don't play ball! However, despite his disbelief's, he begins to think about letting her play only to draw in a crowd for money.


Boys Like, Girls Like, Kids Like...

~Third grade

  • R3.B.3.3.3: Interpret graphics and charts and/or make connections between text and the content of graphics and charts.
  • Each student will write on a piece of paper "I like..."
  • All the slips will be in a bucket where I will read them out loud WITHOUT saying who wrote it
  • Each student (with their heads down) will raise their hand if they like the activity
  • If both genders raise their hand, then I'll place the activity slip in the middle section
  • Students will realize that both girls and boys can do and like the same things

Highlights of our Class

~First grade

  • ELP.5.R.1-3.1.1: Identify chronological events from left to right on a timeline using visual cues.
  • Referencing the timeline in the back of the book students will write down their own personal life highlight!
  • I will take their picture holding up their accomplishment and as a class we will place them on our class timeline to see everyone's shining moment

Fun Facts

~Second grade

  • 1.8.2.B: Conduct research on self-selected or assigned topics using specified sources.
  • Students will research a "forgotten figure" and write down 5-10 facts about them. As a class, we will go around and share their three favorite facts about their research