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Game 1 (Barnstormers) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 27, 2007


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416918639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416918639
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–5—It is 1899, and Griffith, Ruby, and Graham Payne have just buried their father. Now they and their mother are hitting the road with the Travelin' Nine, a barnstorming team of baseball players made up of veterans from the Spanish-American War's "Rough Riders" with whom their father used to play. Their Uncle Owen has entrusted them with a baseball that their dad owned. They know only that it has some kind of power when all three of the children touch it. In this first book in the series, the Travelin' Nine has arrived in Cincinnati to challenge the local team. During the game, strange things happen, and the children are at a loss to understand why. Nothing is explained, and the story ends with the siblings and the team preparing to board a steamboat that will take them to Louisville for the next matchup. There is no question that both Long and Bildner love baseball (the pictures of both author and illustrator in the back of the book in vintage uniforms leave little doubt). The level of historical detail is admirable, and Long's dreamy, black-and-white illustrations are breathtaking. Unfortunately, history and distinguished art cannot make up for the lack of an engaging story line: two-dimensional characters and a weak plot make this chapter book fall flat. If the subsequent "Games" can pick up the pace and flesh out the characters more fully, the series has potential to appeal to fans of Mary Pope Osborne's "Magic Tree House" series (Random) and other historical fantasy.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It's 1899, and the Travelin' Nine go to Cincinnati to play ball, hoping to raise some money. Young siblings Griffith, Ruby, and Graham treasure a tattered baseball with a mysterious hole in it. There are lots of mysteries: why Uncle Owen is in a wheelchair; why their mother is called "Guy" and pins up her hair when she plays catcher, their dad's old position; why trains and fog appear on the field, visible to the barnstormers but invisible to the other team. Old-timey baseball lore and phrases fill the margins, the prose is atmospheric, and Long's soft-edged, period illustrations fit the misty mood. Any true resolution or clarity, however, must await Game 2. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Here's the beginning of great new series for kids. BARNSTORMERS: The Tales of the Travelin' Nine is written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Loren Long.

Set in 1899, BARNSTORMERS brings historic baseball to life for readers. The story centers around three siblings, Griffith, Ruby, and Graham. Still recovering from the death of their father, the three children are traveling with the colorful ball team, the Travelin' Nine. Their exhibition games are meant to earn money to pay the debts left behind after the death of their father.

Adding excitement to the story is a mysterious baseball given to the children by their father's brother, Uncle Owen. The baseball has seen better days, but its torn stitching and acorn-sized hole seem to promise miraculous things if the siblings keep it close during these trying times. Could it be the baseball that causes the crazy visions the team sees on the field as they play ball?

Bildner creates a wonderful picture of the past as he takes readers through the team's first game against Cincinnati. With historical baseball terminology explained in the margins, kids of today are treated to a magical glimpse into the history of early baseball. The lyrical text does not talk down to younger readers, but instead challenges them to read and appreciate Bildner's engaging style. Add in the mystical illustrations of Loren Long, and I can't wait to see the story continue.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazellen on January 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The BARNSTORMERS Game book series for young readers - 8 THROUGH 12 - is visually very exciting. Fabulous illustrations by Loren Long. Intriguing story line which will hook the readers' minds and emotions from the beginning. Appealing family unity theme. Interesting "side margin" notes giving the definitions of the baseball language usage of the 1899 era in which the stories are set. Easy to read shorter chapters which are enchanced by the author's wonderful illustrations helping the characters to come alive for the reader. Each book in the series is called a "GAME" with a new title and number (theme) which beckons the reader to follow the mystery into the next "GAME", (next book in the series). Historical facts of the time in the local area where the games are set seem true to fact. Very nice new series for boys and girls, and their parents.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By loveswildflowers on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The opening scene of the book begins with the 3 Payne children (Griffin the oldest boy, Ruby the middle girl, and Graham the youngest boy) wrapping their hands around an old baseball and looking down on the field of players. The chapter ends with Graham asking "Now what?". Ruby replies "I guess we watch and wait."

Watch and Wait pretty much sums up what the experience of reading this book was like for me the reader. Events transpired, but when it was all over I didn't know much more than when we started. Ideas weren't developed enough to set the hook and reel me into the story. Suspense was built with the element of mystery, but not enough was revealed to keep me interested and I felt unsatisfied at the end of this book.

The three Payne children's father has died, leaving their mother with a debt. Like many other things in the book - the cause of his death is left a mystery to us and not revealed, but we do know that he was a Rough Rider who fought in Cuba during the Mexican American War. Some of his fellow rough riders who apparently used to play baseball with him form a team of "Barnstormers" who are traveling the country playing against local baseball teams to raise money to pay off the family debt. The children's Uncle Owen gives them an old worn baseball their father left to them and imparts some strange words to the oldest child - a warning of danger. The idea of danger isn't really developed. But strange magical events happen on the ball field that only the barnstormers and not the opposing team can see. This impedes the barnstormers ability to play as they avoid these visions. Now the team is off to Louisville and a strange letter from Uncle Owen consisting of just one brief sentence "Beware the Chancellor" with no explanation.

The pictures are beautiful and make this book look so appealing, but after reading it, I am left disenchanted with it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chemteacher on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
These books follow a barnstorming baseball team. Game 1 is in Cincinnati, two is in Louisville, and three will be Chicago. The first book was filled with references to Cincinnati history and landmarks. When baseball terminology is used, the words are defined in the margins. I am purchasing this series for my grandsons (ages 5 and 3). They have heard the first book and enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the next books because they are set in cities we visit often. As "grandma reader", I enjoyed talking with the five-year old about what the baseball terms mean.
The books remind me of the Lemony Snicket books because there is sadness and a lot of unexplained events. The boys enjoyed the story and we look forward to what will happen next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By faith on July 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grandson loved it!!!
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