Sunday, October 2, 2022

Review of "Barnstormers: Three Kids, A Mystery and a Magic Baseball," by Loren Long and Phil Bildner

 Review of

Barnstormers: Three Kids, A Mystery and a Magic Baseball, by Loren Long and Phil Bildner ISBN 9781416918639

Four out of five stars

Too much incidental magic

 The best characteristic of this book is the introduction and explanation of baseball terms from the early years of the game. Phrases such as “left garden” for left field, “ace” for a run scored, “ant killer” for a hard ground ball, “striker” for a batter, and “hand down” for an out are introduced and explained.

 The context is a game between the Travelin’ Nine that is traveling (barnstorming) across the nation playing local teams and the year is 1899. The game in question is being played locally in order to retire some of the massive debt that has been incurred by the Payne family. Griffith, Ruby and Graham are the three Payne children, and they do what they can to help out, passing out flyers and rooting during the game.

 While the basic information about the game played in this timeframe is interesting, the on field apparitions seen only by some are aspects of the plot that sometimes seem senseless. They have no affect on the outcome, add nothing to the revenue from the game and are overemphasized. They are a weakness in what is otherwise a very entertaining book.

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