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The All American Book Review

 Summer is a perfect time to read a book about baseball.  The All American by Susie Finkbeiner should be on everyone's summer reading list.

From Amazon:

Two sisters discover how much good there is in the world—even in the hardest of circumstances

It is 1952, and nearly all the girls 16-year-old Bertha Harding knows dream of getting married, keeping house, and raising children in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Bertha dreams of baseball. She reads every story in the sports section, she plays ball with the neighborhood boys—she even writes letters to the pitcher for the Workington Sweet Peas, part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

When Bertha's father is accused of being part of the Communist Party by the House Un-American Activities Committee, life comes crashing down on them. Disgraced and shunned, the Hardings move to a small town to start over where the only one who knows them is shy Uncle Matthew. But dreams are hard to kill, and when Bertha gets a chance to try out for the Workington Sweet Peas, she packs her bags for an adventure she'll never forget.

Join award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner for a summer of chasing down your dreams and discovering the place you truly belong.

My Take:

This book by Susie Finkbeiner is my first by her but won't be my last.  She writes about a time when baseball was everyone's summer pleasure and the Red Scare was plaguing the nation.  The book flips between Bertha and Flossie's point of view. Bertha is a talented baseball player who has aspirations to play in the national women's league.  Her younger sister Flossie is a young girl who deals with bullies at school and is the youngest at home.  They have an older brother, Chip, who is married.  The characters are well developed and you find that you really are interested in what happens to each of them.  

The storyline shows us how being "all American" during the Red Scare messed up many lives by false accusations.  Finkbeiner is a gifted writer who can make ordinary living seem engrossing and interesting.  The ending is a surprise, and one can't help thinking this is how real life is.  

About the author:

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of The All-American, The Nature of Small Birds,  All Manner of Things — which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book — and Stories That Bind Us, as well as A Cup of DustA Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home.  She and her husband and three children reside in Michigan.

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