Appearing in Tent #2 | 2:00 pm
About the author
Phil Bildner is The New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. His latest book is A High Five for Glenn Burke (2021), an NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor winning middle grade novel. He is the author of many children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, the Texas Bluebonnet Award winning Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, and The Soccer Fence. Bildner is also the author of A Whole New Ballgame, Rookie of the Year, Tournament of Champions, and Most Valuable Players in the critically acclaimed middle grade Rip & Red series.
MFOB featured book: A High Five for Glenn Burke
When sixth grader Silas Wade does a school presentation on former Major Leaguer Glenn Burke, it’s more than just a report about the irrepressible inventor of the high five. Burke was a gay baseball player in the 1970s, and for Silas, the presentation is his own first baby step toward revealing a truth about himself he’s tired of hiding. Soon he tells his best friend, Zoey, but the longer he keeps his secret from his baseball teammates, the more he suspects they know something’s up—especially when he stages one big cover-up with terrible consequences.
A High Five for Glenn Burke is a heartfelt and relatable novel, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke—the first professional baseball player to come out as gay—into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself. The book is Bildner’s most personal novel yet, demonstrating the challenge of being true to yourself, especially when not everyone feels you belong on the field.