Bruce Adelson

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Growing up 20 minutes from Yankee Stadium in New York meant just one thing - I was destined to be a baseball fan. This athletic pre-determination was locked in for life when I attended my first major league sporting event on June 8, 1969, "Mickey Mantle Day" at the stadium, the day fans honored the then recently retired Mantle who was also my first sports hero.

Years later, being a fan of the game influenced me to attempt to write a book about baseball. Inspired by memories of my mother's novel, Wrap Her in Light (Morrow, 1981), I left behind 10 years as a trial lawyer in 1992 and plunged into the world of book publishing. My gamble paid off in 1995 with the publication of my first book, The Minor League Baseball Book (Macmillan, 1995), a travel guide to minor league baseball in the United States and Canada.

Sports, coupled with six years of classroom experience as a substitute teacher in Arlington, Va., contributed to my writing my first children's books - Grand Slam Trivia, Hat Trick Trivia, Slam Dunk Trivia and Touchdown Trivia (Lerner Books, 1998). This series of multicultural sports titles features fun facts and trivia appealing to young readers, including information about African American and women athletes in America's four major professional team sports. Chelsea House Publishers is publishing my newest children's books, The Composite Guide to Softball and The Composite Guide to Field Hockey, which also feature multi-cultural material relevant to each of these sports.

Over the past 10 years, I've driven more than 100,000 miles across the country, researching my books and visiting historic sites, museums, schools, as well as minor league ballparks. My travels have taken me down south where I have visited ballparks from Jackson, Mississippi to Richmond, Virginia and also journeyed to other destinations seemingly unrelated to baseball. Such places as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee were poignant reminders to me of the civil rights movement and led me to write my latest adult title, Brushing Back Jim Crow - The Integration of Minor League Baseball in the American South and the Civil Rights Movement (University Press of Virginia, 1999).

In addition to writing books, I do school programs and workshops. I have extensive experience as an Author's Day speaker, writer's workshop presenter, and mock courtroom trial "judge." My classroom experience enables me to tailor my presentations to suit the needs, interests and concerns of teachers, children and administrators.

I have also been a commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition, CBS Radio's Major League Baseball Game of the Week, a guest on dozens of radio and television programs as well as contributing editor for The Four Sport Stadium Guide (Random House, 1994). Additionally, I have written for many periodicals and newspapers, including:The Washington Post; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Baseball America; Sport Magazine; USA Today's Baseball Weekly; Maryland Magazine; and The Daily Record.

My Books

Touchdown Trivia
The author has included hard-to-find information about African-American teams and women's teams. Readers are presented trivia questions throughout the volume, and are taught a little math along the way... Math teachers need to be alerted to this book in their efforts to teach across curriculum areas, since it is an excellent volume for upper elementary and middle school sports collections. Classroom teachers will also want to include it in multicultural units.

Grand Slam Trivia Grand Slam Trivia
"Unlike countless other sports trivia books, this volume includes chapters on women's professional leagues and the black baseball leagues. There is also a helpful explanation for statistical concepts such as ERA ... and 'batting average'. Cartoonish drawings and photos liven up this hodge-podge of baseball lore..."
~The Horn Book
Brushing Back Jim Crow Brushing Back Jim Crow
"Adelson's outstanding survey ... examines the groundbreaking role of professional baseball, which paved the way for social mixing of blacks and whites and anticipated the victories of the NAACP and the civil rights movement ... Adelson's account of their struggles is much more than a good baseball book: it's a detailed history of how the struggle for integration and civil rights played out in the daily life of a profession that just happens to be the national pastime."
~Publishers Weekly - starred review

The Minor League Baseball Book
"Interested in taking a vacation that includes a trip to the ballpark but fed up with the major leagues ? Then The Minor League Baseball Book is for you. ... It features a plethora of information on every minor league team in North America."
~Orlando Sentinel

What Teachers Say About Bruce Adelson's School Programs

"After Mr. Adelson's presentation on Author's Day, instead of participating in recess, several children asked specifically if they could stay in the classroom and start 'brainstorming' ideas to write about... I would recommend Mr. Adelson for a school assembly with the highest regards."
~Victoria Fagliarone, Second Grade Teacher, Arlington, Va.

"Bruce Adelson's presentation and writing workshops are both creative and inspiring for children at the elementary school level... He helps the children from inception of the story idea to completion of the final draft by fine tuning their writing and editing skills using his own published books as an example."
~Joan Yocum, 5th Grade Teacher, Arlington, Va.


My Links

Lerner's site
University of Virginia
To work with Bruce Adelson, see our Speakers Bureau.

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