________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 8 . . . . December 13, 1996

cover Baseball crazy.

Martyn Godfrey.
Toronto: James Lorimer & Co. Ltd., 1996. 96 pp., paper, $8.95.
ISBN 1-55028-512-2.

Grades 4 - 7 / Ages 9 - 12.
Review by Luella Sumner.

*** /4


I did another okay job as batboy, but the Phillies had the Jays' number and trashed us, six to zip. Although the outfield only played three innings, it was obvious the stolen gloves had upset them.

The Phillies' first hit was a smash to left. Josh Martin jumped up against the wall to snag it and, incredibly, the ball bounced out of his new glove. I thought it could have just been bad luck, but when Calvin Hobbs bobbled a routine fly, I got worried. In the third, Marcus Nicholas collided with Hank Franca, the first baseman, on a blooper. At the plate, Martin, Hobbs and Nicholas were hitless. Things were definitely not normal.

This book by Martyn Godfrey (who was a batboy for a former Toronto baseball team) is one of a series of sports stories for young people. As the winner of a contest to be a special batboy for the Blue Jays during spring break, Rob receives an expenses-paid trip to Florida for spring training. Meeting his heroes and being part of the team seem like a dream come true. His best friend, who just happens to be a girl, persuades her grandfather, who lives in Florida, to chaperone her and Rob for the week. Rob becomes entangled in a plot to steal equipment from the Jays but, with Cheryl's help, he is able to foil the thieves and become a hero to the team. While the story sticks mainly to the baseball theme, a mere smidgen of romance is allowed to creep in near the end.

      This book should appeal to both girls and boys as the action involves Cheryl to some degree. She is as capable as Rob in dealing with their problems, and at the end she is able to break into his obsession with baseball and make Rob see her as a girl. The story is interesting, fast paced, and just unbelievable enough to be really exciting. The characters are good role models for the reader, if a trifle too good to be true!


Luella Sumner is Head Librarian of Red Rock Public Library in Red Rock, Ontario.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364