On the last day of eighth grade, Millie Bauer receives a package from her brother, George, who is serving overseas in the Army. Minutes later a telegram arrives notifying the family that he is missing in action. Having already lost her father to an accident, Millie learns to navigate challenging emotions through her love of baseball, her seemingly unnatural pitching talent, and friendship. Later recruited by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Millie’s journey in Fields Apart will have you falling in love with the timeless game of baseball all over again!
Fields Apart tells a historical fiction story about baseball and war, though these topics are merely vessels. Kelly uses these topics to underwrite more significant issues such as the struggles of men going to war, causing an increased workload that women must now undertake. These compounded struggles take a toll on main character, Millie, as she learns to navigate challenging emotions entwined with the loss of her father and the news of her brother, stated missing in action. The reader gets an up-close and personal view into what family life and the surrounding community became after young men were drafted or encouraged to join the Armed Forces.
“Blending both sports and historical fiction, Kelly has created a cast of vibrant memorable characters that linger long after the final page is turned. This book is in turns: warm, compassionate, educational, humorous, and heart-breaking.”
– Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Godspeed
About the Author
J.N. Kelly is a lifelong fan of baseball. He spent the summers of his childhood playing on sandlots with his brothers and kids from the neighborhood. He now works as a librarian in Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife and three children. He still dreams about those summer days. Find out more about him here: joeniese.com