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.
Welcome to Chicago, welcome all! It’s a beautiful day to play baseball. Bright sun with not one single cloud in the sky, a blue-curtain backdrop to watch baseballs fly. Hello, everybody, to you from me, Lester Roberts, on your radio on WNLB, bringing you the play-by-play in a creative way of the second annual Negro League East-West game today.
Last year’s game was fun-filled with eighteen runs,
including a cannon shot that came from
the bat of Mule Suttles, who swung his barrel chest
and arms to launch a four-bag express
into center-field stands, sending slug-happy fans
into a frenzy, making sepia hands
clap and cheer and throw hats into the air,
a heart-stopping moment for all who were there.
But that was last year—now it’s on to
the Negro League East-West Classic number two,
featuring players voted in by you,
the fans who follow this game through and through.
Charles R. Smith, Jr. is an acclaimed poet and the Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator of My People, a picture book based on the poem by Langston Hughes. He is also the illustrator of If, the author and photographer of I Am the World, and he won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor for his book Twelve Rounds To Glory. He grew up in California and attended the Brooks Institute of Photography. A magazine and book cover photographer in addition to a picture book creator, Charles lives with his wife and kids in Poughkeepsie, New York. Visit him at CharlesRSmithJr.com.
Frank Morrison is the award-winning illustrator of many books for young readers, including Jazzy Miz Mozetta, winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book; Muhammad Ali; and How Sweet the Sound. Before becoming a children’s book illustrator and fine artist, Morrison toured the globe as a break-dancer. He lives in Georgia with his family.
“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