Out of Left Field

(Viking, May 2018)
Middle-grade novel

A story about the fight for equal rights in America’s favorite arena: the baseball field!

Every boy in the neighborhood knows Katy Gordon is their best pitcher, even though she’s a girl. But when she tries out for Little League, it’s a whole different story. Girls are not eligible, period. It is a boy’s game and always has been. It’s not fair, and Katy’s going to fight back. Inspired by what she’s learning about civil rights in school, she sets out to prove that she’s not the only girl who plays baseball. With the help of friendly librarians and some tenacious research skills, Katy discovers the forgotten history of female ball players. Why does no one know about them? Where are they now? And how can one ten-year-old change people’s minds about what girls can do?

Set in 1957—the world of Sputnik and Leave It to Beaver, saddle shoes and “Heartbreak Hotel”—Out of Left Field is both a detailed picture of a fascinating historic period and a timelessly inspiring story about standing up for equality at any age.

Praise

“There are writers with unique voices and important things to say about people of all kinds and shapes and minds. Ellen Klages is one of those writers. Ignore her at your peril.”

—Neil Gaiman, Newbery Award winner

“OUT OF LEFT FIELD shows us, with heart and precision, what it really takes to make the world change. Katy Gordon is my hero. She’s your hero, too.”

—William Alexander, National Book Award winner

“Heartwarming, fresh, and full of surprises. Readers of all ages will cheer for funny, feisty Katy Gordon as she chases her big-league dreams. Ellen Klages hits this one out of the park!”

—Jennifer L. Holm, three-time Newbery Honor recipient

“They say that history is written by the winners. I say hidden histories, like the one ten-year-old Katy Gordon uncovers in this book, are writ large by winning authors like Ellen Klages. A book that’s part sports, part rabble-rousing activism, and all around amazing.”

—Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production, School Library Journal