A Girl Baseball Pitcher?

C.F. Payne illustrations are realistic enough that I feel like I am a spectator in the stands in Might Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen. Marissa Moss leads the reader with a question, engaging you the moment you begin reading.

Jackie Mitchell was a seventeen-year-old-girl who had been throwing baseballs since she could remember. Her father believed in her during a time when girls were to be in the kitchen only.

He told her she could be good at whatever she wanted, as long as she worked at it. And Jackie worked at baseball. She worked hard.”

Marissa uses a flashback technique to begin the story. You are reading about Jackie in present day and then flashback to when she is a little girl, practicing. I love the fact that Marissa Moss threads persistence to a dream throughout the book. Jackie prepared for baseball and believed in herself.

You feel the tense moment in the game between the minor league team, Chattanooga Lookouts versus a top team, the New York Yankees. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were the star hitters; she was a girl. Jackie throws her fast pitches for strikes, surprising the Babe. After striking them both out, the story ends with Jackie proving herself worthy of pitching in the majors, an honor she never receives.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Mighty Jackie: the Strike-Out Queen:

  • Author’s Note – real photograph of Jackie with the rest of her story
  • Grabber lead   – “… something amazing was about to happen.”
  • Transitions with flashbacks
  • Exploding the moment – pitching to Babe Ruth
  • Magic of 3 – with sentences
  • Close Echo or repeating phrase – “to see only the all, to feel only the ball
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