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Kidsday: Reviewing a book on Larry Doby

I read the book "Just as Good: How Larry Doby Changed America's Game," by Chris Crowe (Candlewick). In the book, Homer and his dad are baseball crazy. Homer was restricted from playing on his Little League team because of his skin color, but he still loved baseball so much that he listened to the Indians on the radio all the time.

The Little League coach said Homer couldn't play because there weren't any African-American players in the major leagues. But Homer knew that Jackie Robinson was already in the majors and playing for the National League's Dodgers. His coach pointed out that there were none playing in Cleveland, which is in the American League.

Just 11 weeks after Robinson broke the color barrier, Larry Doby, another African-American, made it to the Cleveland Indians. Doby had played in the Negro Leagues, founded by black players, because Major League Baseball wouldn't let them play. Homer and his dad were very excited to listen to the World Series in 1948. That year, the Indians won the World Series for the first time since 1920.

This book's moral is that if you work together, you can achieve anything, no matter what the color of your skin is. Indians' pitcher Steve Gromek was so happy after winning the Series, that he went up to Doby and hugged him right in front of newspaper photographers. The next day, a picture of Gromek, who was white, and Doby was printed all over the country.

This was Doby's quote at the end of the book: "That [hug] made me feel good because it was not a thing of 'should I or should I not?', not a thing of black or white. It was a thing where human beings were showing emotion." BY JONNY LOPEZ

Kidsday Reporter, 12, New Hyde Park

I collect hard plastic Smurfs. My Aunt Dina and I started collecting them this past December. We have 19 so far. But not only do we collect Smurfs, we also collect little squishy animals so we can soon make our own Smurf village.

My aunt and I came up with the idea of collecting them because we love the cartoon and the Smurfs movie. We got these little cute Smurfs at a local store. When we saw them, we freaked out. One Smurf cost 75 cents.

The seven Smurfs we have are: Smurfette, Clumsy, Grouchy, Hefty, Brainy, Handy and Papa Smurf. We also have three big Smurfs from McDonald's: two Brainys and a Clumsy. For our Smurf village, we have seven little squishy animals. We think the most common Smurf is Hefty, but the hardest one to get is Grouchy. They are very cute and small for kids to play with.

Now that's funny

What do you call a pig that knows karate?

A pork chop.

--Mikayla Shipman, North Bellmore

How do you know when you are having a really, really bad day?

When you forget your own birthday.

--Valerie Quinones, Ronkonkoma

What can you hold but never touch?

A conversation.

--Max Klein, North Bellmore

What do you call a skeleton that won't wake up?

Lazy bones.

--Samantha Caixeiro, Farmingdale

What do you call a fairy that hasn't taken a bath? Stinkerbell.

--Angela Geraci, Farmingdale

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