Hello Mixed-Up Filers!
Only two months since I last checked in. Hope that all of you are well. Well, we are nearing the end of February, and while snow is still on the ground in many parts of the country, down here in Florida, major league baseball teams are congregating to begin spring training. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Every exhibition season, I’ll take my kids to spring training to watch the Mets play in Port Saint Lucie. At Tradition Field. Anybody is more than welcome to meet me there.
In any event, I think you’re getting the drift. I love baseball. And that means, I love reading baseball books. I’m an easy reader and audience for you. I’m already coming in hooked. To me, you have to try really hard to make a baseball book bad. I’m already invested. I’m in it for the characters. I’m in it for the description of the game. I’m in it to see what happens. If you mention the Mets, even better. I’m giving you points for that. If you mention the Yankees? Well, that’s some serious points reduced. I absolutely hate the Yankees. You could conjure up an army of baseball-playing demons, and if they’re playing the Yankees, I’m wearing my Demons jersey and waving my Demons banner. So, as I said, if that’s the only criteria I have, I’m a pretty easy audience. So, let’s you and I together, take a look at some really fun baseball books.
First one on my list, is cheating in a way. It’s a softball book. My daughter plays softball, and it’s very difficult to find any good books about that, since it’s mostly baseball books in the stores, so when we do see a softball book, we grab it. This one is: Katie, Batter Up! (Cupcake Diaries Series #5) by Coco Simon. My daughter really enjoyed this one. It is about Katie, who tries out for softball and makes the team, but gets nervous during games. This describes almost every girl I’ve ever coached. It was a sweet, fun, story and shows to keep trying, even when you’re nervous.
Next up, is The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John Ritter. This book is a mystery as well as a fun baseball book. Tom Gallagher gets himself and his friends involved in a baseball game for control of the fields. Only problem is, he’s very ill-prepared for the game…that is, until a mysterious kid named, Cruz de la Cruz shows up and teaches Tom the secret of hitting.
Super Slugger, by Cal Ripken, Jr. and Kevin Cowherd. I’ll be upfront. Normally, I don’t go for “celebrity” authors. I think enough people are trying to make it as writers, that just because some celebrity decides, “I’m going to write a book!”, that I won’t support it. But, darn it, it’s baseball. And as I said…I LOVE baseball! So, I picked up this book and it was a fun read. It’s about Cody Parker, an overweight, new kid in school, who likes to play baseball. Only problem, he plays the same position as Dante Rizzo, the school bully. Yes, I have seen this scenario played out in many movies growing up. Even some of my favorite movies, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for them every time!
Little League: Play Ball! (Little League Series #1): You can’t have sports books, without mentioning Matt Christopher, the king of sports books. But, in this case, it’s actually written by Stephanie True Peters, since Christopher died in 1997. Still, I don’t care, since it says Matt Christopher on the cover, and that’s good enough for me. Any book that talks about going through a season and what players deal with, are favorites of mine, and this book does that. It’s about eleven-year-old cousins, catcher Liam McCarthy and pitcher Carter Jones who have their team on the verge of winning the Little League Baseball World Series. But, to win the title, they must first beat their number one rivals from Southern California. Championship games against your rival is always exciting to read for me.
Rounding out my list is, Shoeless Joe & Me (Baseball Card Adventures #4) by Dan Gutman. First off, I love Dan Gutman books. Also, I have a soft spot for anything Shoeless Joe related, so this book was a natural for me. Joe Stoshack tries to take his magic baseball card and travel back in the past, to prevent Shoeless Joe, from getting involved in the World Series scandal, which ended his career. I absolutely love time travel books and this one combined baseball with it. What’s not to love?
So, there you have it, Mixed-Up Filers! My mini-list of baseball books for middle-graders. Hope you enjoy these, hope you enjoy baseball season, and hope your team has a great season! Well, unless, of course, it’s the Yankees and then I wish a very long and arduous road.
Let’s Go Mets!
What are some of your favorite middle grade baseball books?