Publication Date: April 11, 2023
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Ages 6 to 9, Grades 1 to 4
The true story of John Meyers and Charles Bender, who in 1911 became the first two Native American pro baseball players to face off in a World Series, teaches important lessons about resilience, doing what you love in the face of injustice, and the fight for Native American representation in sports.
Charles Bender grew up on the White Earth Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota. John Meyers was raised on the Cahuilla reservation in Southern California. Despite their mutual respect for each other's talents and their shared dedication to Native representation in baseball, the media was determined to pit them against each other.
However, they never gave up on their dreams of being pro baseball players and didn’t let the supposed rivalry created by the media or the racism they faced within the stadium stop them. They continued to break barriers and went on to play a combined total of nine championships.
With text by Traci Sorell and illustrations by Arigon Starr that brings these two players to life, the stories of John Meyers and Charles Bender remain an inspiration for achieving and maintaining one’s dreams in the face of prejudice.
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