Becoming Babe Ruth

Becoming Babe Ruth
Written and Illustrated by Matt Tavares

Before he is known as the Babe, George Herman Ruth is just a boy who lives in Baltimore and gets into a lot of trouble. But when he turns seven, his father brings him to the gates of Saint Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, and his life is changed forever. At Saint Mary’s, he’s expected to study hard and follow a lot of rules. But there is one good thing about Saint Mary’s: almost every day, George gets to play baseball. Here, under the watchful eye of Brother Matthias, George evolves as a player and as a man.

Primary Source Pairing:
Babe Ruth lived to play baseball, and as we read in Matt Tavares’ book, to help people, too. The primary source pairing for this book shows Babe in a New York Yankee jersey, but Babe played for the Red Sox and the Braves, too. Use the Pitching and Hitting Stats in the back of the book to create a baseball math lesson with students. Create a timeline and use a map to track Babe’s journey for additional learning projects with this book.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What other details can you see?
  • What can you learn from examining this image?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Image of Babe Ruth:

The Babe Ruth Central website has a wealth of information about Babe Ruth and his life, in including a special section just for kids. Visit to learn more.

The Library of Congress has an excellent collection of materials about baseball, visit the LOC website to learn more.