Project Description


Sliding into Home

by Dori Hillestad Butler

It’s not fair! Thirteen-year-old Joelle Cunningham is passionate about baseball. But when her family moves to the small town of Greendale, Iowa, she quickly discovers that there are strict rules preventing her from playing on the school baseball team.

At Hoover Middle School, only boys play baseball. Girls play softball.  Joelle tries to tell everyone they’re not the same sport. But no one is listening. Not Coach Carlyle who doesn’t want her on his team even though his baseball team is at the bottom of the league. Not Ms. Fenner, the softball coach who wants Joelle to use her big league swing on the girls’ team. Not even Jason, her older brother, who is too busy at college to be of much help.

But Joelle is determined to play baseball. Through some creative problem-solving and surprising alliances, she finds a solution to her dilemma that brings the disputing sides together…and baseball to the girls of Greendale.

Author Dori Hillestad Butler has created a high-spirited, indomitable character that young girls will admire and root for in this story of frustrated ambition and ultimate triumph.

Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-341-2
Publication Date: 4/7/2005
Page Count: 224
Size: 6″ x 8-1/2″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-753-3
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:


AR Level: 3.7
F&P: GRL T, Gr 5, Genre RF
Lexile: 580L
Themes: Baseball, Determination, Gender, Perseverance, Teamwork
BISAC 1: JUV032010 JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / Baseball & Softball
BISAC 2: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women
BISAC 3: JUV039140 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance


“The well-paced plot will engage readers, who will be moved by the story of a young teen who stands up for what she believes and goes after what she wants.” ―Booklist

“Joelle is a well-drawn character, sometimes unsure of her place in the scheme of things, and at other times ready to take on the world.… Breezy and fast-paced, with a feminist slant.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Filled with realistic emotions and dialogue, this involving tale has just the right amount of baseball action.…a winning story that will appeal to many readers.” ―School Library Journal


Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Honor Book, Language Arts, Grades K-6) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2003

Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2003

Volunteer State Book Awards (Master List, 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2006-2007

Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (Master List) ―Salem State College, 2006-2007

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Golden Sower Award (Nominee, Intermediate) ―Nebraska Library Association, 2005-2006

Mark Twain Readers Award (Nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians, 2005-2006

Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards (Nominee) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2005-2006

Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee, Intermediate) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators, 2005-2006


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Meet the Author

Dori Butler

Dori Hillestad Butler is the author of over fifty works of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. She has also published stories for children in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Cricket, Spider, Children’s Digest, and Child Life. Butler is the children’s book review columnist for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. She lives in Washington. You can visit her website here.