Baseball Saved Us

By Ken Mochizuki
Illustrated by Dom Lee

Paperback: $9.95

CD: $12.95

Six Pack: $59.70

Shorty and his family, along with thousands of Japanese Americans, are sent to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fighting the heat and dust of the desert, Shorty and his father decide to build a baseball diamond and form a league in order to boost the spirits of the internees. Shorty quickly learns that he is playing not only to win, but to gain dignity and self-respect as well.

Baseball Saved Us is the ultimate rite of passage story. It will appeal again and again to readers who enjoy cheering for the underdog.

Check out the following teaching resources to go with the book:

-See what close reading looks like for Baseball Saved Us.

-Check out educator activities for Baseball Saved Us, a title featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collections. To find other free activities that inspire young readers as well as learn more about Reading Is Fundamental, visit us at

-Explore a reading guide and learning activities for Baseball Saved Us from OurStory, a website created by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to encourage adults and children in grades K–4 to read historical fiction and biography together.

-For ideas on how to teach World War II and the roles children can play in solving national problems, check out the NEH lesson series, On the Home Front, featuring Baseball Saved Us from EDSITEment, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) website for K–12 teachers, school librarians, and students.

-Use Baseball Saved Us with the units, Constitutional Issues and Immigration Journeys, by Sarah Loudon and Doug Selwyn, provided by the National Park Service and Densho, the Japanese American Legacy Project. These units are part of the Civil Liberties Curriculum created to encourage elementary, middle, and high school students to examine questions of constitutional and civil rights in relation to the Japanese American incarceration.

-Learn about the experiences of children and teens in World War II interment camps with “The Japanese American Internment: How Young People Saw It,” a set of four lesson plans divided into grade bands featuring Baseball Saved Us, produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies.

-Check out the Activity Guide from Live Oak Media, which creates readalongs to help children learn to read and develop language skills.

-Check out the lesson plan Slow Motion Replay from Learn NC, a program of the UNC School of Education which finds and shares the most innovative and successful practices in K–12 education.

-Read the New York Times story, For Incarcerated Japanese Americans, Baseball Was 'Wearing the American Flag', about the history of baseball in the Japanese Internment Camps.

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Ken Mochizuki - Author

is the award-winning author of numerous books for children from LEE & LOW. Mr. Mochizuki lives in Seattle, Washington, where he teaches, writes children's books, and gives presentations about his work full time.

Thumb_thumb Dom Lee

was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. With his unique style of art combining techniques of painting and scratching details in encaustic wax, Lee has illustrated many award-winning picture books for children for LEE & LOW . He lives with his wife and children in Demarest, New Jersey. To find out more about Dom Lee, visit

About This Title


Paperback: 9781880000199

Hardcover: 9781880000014

CD: 9781591129141

Six Pack: 9781584303961


Best Multicultural Title - Cuffies Award
Publisher's Weekly

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Editor's Choice
San Francisco Chronicle

Not Just for Children Anymore Selection
Children's Book Council

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 6

Reading Level:

Grades 3 - 3


War, United States History, Sports, Similarities and Differences, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Overcoming Obstacles, Home, History, Fathers, Families, Dreams & Aspirations, Discrimination, Conflict resolution, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Bullying, Asian/Asian American Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Gratitude, Integrity/Honesty , Leadership, Persistence/Grit, Realistic Fiction, Respect/Citizenship, Self Control/Self Regulation, World War II, Pride, Courage, Tolerance/Acceptance, Immigration

Part of These Collections