Everyone goes through changes in their preteen and teen years. But who would have known that these changes would not only be physical for full of experiences? Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff is a story about two schools in two small cities in Oregon with a 50-year-old tradition, where the sixth grade girls play an annual baseball game. Each chapter in the book talks about one school. The girls of the schools share their points of view about the game (also known as “The Bat 6 Game-), their families and friends, and their feelings about World War II.
The Bat 6 game started in the spring of 1899 as a girls’ baseball competition between Bear Creek and Barlow Road Grade Schools. Many enjoyed the competition, and soon Bat 6 became a tradition. Bear Creek and Barlow would send their top players each year to the challenge. The Bat 6 game of 1949 1949, though “it marked the 50th year anniversary of the game. The teams were well prepared. .
Aki Mikami is a Japanese girl that returned to her town (Bear Creek Ridge) from an interment camp her family was placed in during WWII. She is treated with great hospitality when she returns to her old house from the camp. She arrives in town just in the knick of time! The 50th annual Bat 6 game is less than nine months away. Aki is a great first baseman, and is very modest about her playing ability. She makes many friends and prepares for the Bat 6 game.
Shirley (the book does not state her last name) has had a depressing childhood “her parents were never married, and her father was killed at Pearl Harbor while aboard the Arizona. Thus, her mother had instilled in her a prejudice against Japanese people. When Shirley moves to Barlow Road, her whole world changes; she lives with her grandmother who owns a house very far from the school, changes her name to “Shazam-, and finds that the area has many Japanese citizens. The parents of the town treat her differently, knowing that the girl is fatherless, and the mother is going through counseling.