Brothers at Bat


During the summers spanning the 1920’s and 1930’s, baseball was big. The Acerra family was big. The 12 brothers formed a baseball team and played longer together than any of the other 29 all-brother baseball teams. This book is their story.


Twelve brothers play baseball together – as a team – for over 30 years. I’m partial to feel-good stories about families. My children are too. My children are also partial to stories about baseball. That said, there really isn’t a way to kill a story faster than bad writing. Are my standards too high? Is it too much to ask for a good story and good writing? I’m beginning to think so. Reading aloud became a chore as I stumbled over the odd use of direct quotations, inconsistent use of names (there are 12 boys! let’s make it easy to remember who’s who, no?), and the weird punctuation. Where was the editor?  The best writing takes place on the final page of the book where Ms. Vernick provides her “Author’s Note.” I’m not sure why she didn’t write the entire book that well?

I love the illustrations (done by Steven Salerno). The drawings remind me of an updated Lois Lenski and really cemented the historical feel of the book.


  • Author: Audrey Vernick
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (April 3, 2012)
  • Hardcover 40 pages
  • Reading Age: Ages 4 +

What You Need to Know

  • Role Models/Authority Figures – The Acerra family! Twelve boys and four girls remain close throughout their lives.
  • Violence – Some boys go off to fight World War II ( we don’t see them, they just go off and fight)
  • Sexual Content – One son comes home from the war and “was so excited that he went up to women he didn’t even know and kissed them!” (28)
  • Language – None
  • Consumerism – None.
  • Drinking/Smoking/Drugs – None
  • Religion – None.
  • Other – This is a true story.
  • Awards