From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Middle-schooler Cody, new in Baltimore, loves all sports, particularly baseball, and he's good at them despite the fact that he's a bit overweight (he prefers the term "burly"). He uses humor to make people like him, which works for the most part but not with bully Dante, who loses his third-base starting position to Cody. There's a mystery to solve and plenty of exciting baseball action as the team plays for an undefeated season and the championship. The various elements work well together to create a fast-moving story, and the characterizations of the parents and coach are great. These adults are supportive and helpful, giving good advice and practical lessons. The coach really has no ego. His philosophy: "Please don't let me screw this up." Another well-developed character is Jessica, Cody's athletic neighbor, who becomes his good friend and defender. She is smart and can hold her own against the boys in a baseball story. Ripkin and Cowherd have created a definite winner for anyone with the slightest interest in baseball, sports in general, those adjusting to a new city or school, being overweight in middle school, or just wanting to be entertained by a good story.-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Cal Ripken, Jr.was a shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles for his entire twenty-one-season career (1981-2001). Nicknamed "The Iron Man" for his work ethic and reliability on the field, Cal Ripken, Jr. is most remembered for playing a record 2,632 straight games over seventeen seasons, shattering the record previously held by the legendary Lou Gehrig. Cal was a nineteen-time all-star and is one of eight players in history to amass over 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, after earning the most votes in history. Mr. Ripken is CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc., a company dedicated to growing the game of baseball at the grassroots level. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.
Kevin Cowherdis an award-winning sports columnist with theBaltimore Sun. He has also written forMen's Health,Parenting, andBaseball Digestmagazines and is the author of a collection of columns,Last Call at the 7-Eleven. He has coached youth baseball, basketball, and soccer teams for many years. He lives near Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and three children.