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Keystone Kids (Odyssey Classic) Paperback – March 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Keystone Kids deals frankly and realistically with racial intolerance . . . Its theme of sportsmanship in the fuller sense rings clearly through its prose."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

About the Author

Shortly before a serious accident ends his dream of pitching, Roy Tucker is called up from a small-town team in Connecticut to help the Brooklyn Dodgers out of a slump.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Odyssey Classic
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Sandpiper; Reprint edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152056343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152056346
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,362,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John R. Tunis (1889-1975) was a novelist and sportswriter best remembered for his series of novels about the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and '50s. Born in Boston, Tunis graduated from Harvard University and then served in the Army during World War I. He began writing sports columns in 1925 and was soon contributing to dozens of publications, including the New Yorker, Reader's Digest, Esquire, and the Saturday Evening Post. A tennis player himself, Tunis broadcast the first Wimbledon match to air in the United States in 1934.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Baskin on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe this book was written before Jackie Robinson made his debut with the real Dodgers in 1947, because "Keystone Kids" touches on many things that were dealt with when Robinson became the first black player in the majors. Bobby and Spike Russell are a pair of middle infielders brought up from the minors to the Dodgers during the WWII era. Both encounter the usual difficulties that rookies face in the Tunis series. The difference here is another rookie, Jewish catcher Jocko Klein, who has to endure prejudice from opponents and even his own teammates. While the title of the book suggests the Russell brothers as the main characters, Jocko is the real story here. To me, this book and "The Kid Comes Back" are the two most socially relevant of the Tunis series. Any parent wishing to instill a sense of conscience in their kids could do a whole lot worse than getting them "Keystone Kids."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
In my youth, I read hundreds of books of juvenile sports fiction. When in junior high, I started in the A's and read every book through the Z's on the subject in the Harding IMC. I repeated this in the Hiawatha public library and then read many more in the Kennedy High School library. This book is the second best one I have ever read, trailing only "Crazy Legs McBain" by Joe Archibald. What makes this book so special is that it also deals with the problem of prejudice in our society and how it destroys the perpetrators just as much if not more than those who are the targets.

Spike and Bob Russell are brothers and a shortstop/second base combination as good as there is in baseball. They are called up to the Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that is struggling. In their early twenties, they must prove their worth, just like all other rookies. However, Spike is very astute, and when the team flounders the next season, he is named player-manager. It would appear that the team should challenge for the pennant, but there is a great deal of internal dissension. Not against Spike, but because he is using Jocko Klein as his catcher. Jocko is Jewish and is the target of a great deal of hostility, even from his teammates. This causes their play to suffer and even drives a wedge between Spike and Bob. It reaches the point where they are mired in the second division and seemingly have no hope of rising in the standings. Finally, Spike calls a team meeting and tells the team that Jocko is not a Jewish man, but the first string catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jocko then threatens to fight with the Dodger who is most against him and the other man backs down. Jocko then elevates his play on the field and his teammates fall in line behind him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crabby Appleton on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Maybe not the Tunis book you start with if you're interested in his Brooklyn Dodgers series, but quite possibly the one you should end with. Game action is not as taut as "World Series," but here you'll find the most insight on the characters as people -- including a virtuoso passage where Tunis shifts from the narrow world-view of the Russell boys to an almost godlike round-the-horn exposition of each Dodger's ancestry and historical origins. Only Tunis could reach such high notes in the genre, and you'll never be too old or too wise to read it again.
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Format: Paperback
This story is about two young brothers that were drafted by the Dodgers during the 40's.At the beginning Spike,the older brother,is an excited and shy kid in the big leagues.Him & his brother can't believe the first-class service,since they were just orphans,living in an orphanage.Later in the book he becomes the manager.He has to deal with alot of struggles ,& carry the weight of the Dodgers on his shoulders.I learned that if you work as a team,you can accomplish alot.
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