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Mudville Library Binding – February 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Library Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375955798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375955792
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 4.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,822,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–8—Vandals have crossed off the "o" and the "n" from the welcome sign outside the town of Moundville, and appropriately so, as it's been raining there continually for 22 years. Shortly after 12-year-old Roy discovers that he'll be sharing his bedroom with Sturgis, a scarred foster child about his age, the rain stops. What better opportunity to organize some baseball? In short order Roy finds himself captaining a ragtag team with himself as catcher, Sturgis—who has a wicked fastball—on the mound, and position players of both sexes with wildly varying levels of skill. Scaletta takes nearly 80 pages to trot out his varied, well-drawn supporting cast and to fill in the town's history (a necessity: that rain interrupted an important baseball game that some adults, at least, still regard as unfinished business), but he balances perceptive explorations of personal and domestic issues perfectly with fine baseball talk and (eventually) absorbing play-by-play. Readers will cheer Roy on as he struggles to get his team in shape, clicks with a girl who is new to the game but turns out to have an unhittable natural screwball, and weathers some rough waters with moody Sturgis on the way to a rousing climax and a fitting resolution.—John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Those who don’t know an RBI from an ERA should look elsewhere, but for readers who eat and sleep sports, Scaletta’s debut is a gift from the baseball gods. It centers on 12-year-old Roy McGuire, whose dreams of being a major leaguer are literally dampened by the fact that it has been raining in his hometown for 22 years. The rain began during a contest with neighboring Sinister Bend, and it ends right after Roy returns from baseball camp to find a new foster brother, Sturgis, living at his house. Their relationship is rocky, but no one can deny Sturgis’ throwing power, and soon both boys are ramping up for an epic rematch between the two towns. Various asides and in-jokes make clear that Scaletta is steeped not only in baseball lore but in such movie classics as The Natural and Field of Dreams, and that sort of larger-than-life magic realism lends his story the aura of a proper tall tale. Sports nuts, including reluctant readers, will sense they are in good hands with this one. Grades 4-8. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Kurtis Scaletta is the author of several books for young readers including Mudville, which was short listed for the Mark Twain Readers Award, and The Tanglewood Terror, which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. He lives in Minneapolis with wife and son and some cats.

Customer Reviews

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I am so glad I had the chance to read this book!
Deva Fagan
Full of humor, great plays and characters that jump off the pages, Kurtis Scaletta has created a defining moment in baseball literature.
Amazon Customer
Roy and his newly adopted brother, Sturgis, decide to restore the old baseball field and just have fun practicing.
VS Grenier Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brandy L. Danner on February 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's a rare book that makes me want to play baseball. This book really captures everything about the game--the author clearly loves the game, and it infuses every bit of every character. The rivalries, the importance of the game to this sodden town, the cultural and personal heritages caught up with baseball... every page of this book is a mash note to the sport, and I mean that in a good way.

It's not all baseball, though--there's a family story here, brotherhood and parents and general familial relationships to each other. It could be very sappy, but none of the characters are perfect--they're all flawed in their individual ways, giving even the characters with little screen time or deep importance to the plot dimension and earning them sympathy. It would be easy to give some of these characters no redeeming qualities, but Scaletta tempers the bad and/or neglectful behaviors with hints that these parents do love their children--they just can't be good parents, for whatever reason. Their flaws make them human.

This is a sports book that interested me, even though I, the terminally graceless and uncoordinated, have no interest in sports, particularly baseball. I still don't fully understand in words what makes the game so great--but on a gut level, I think I understand it perfectly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Saundra Mitchell on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's About: Roy McGuire, twelve years old, just back from baseball camp, and back into the endlessly dreary town of Moundville- where it rained out a baseball game twenty-two years ago and hasn't stopped since. Most people in Moundville make do. Roy's dad has made good- he had his defining moment during that rained-out game, and ever since, he's been rainproofing houses in waterlogged houses for a living and caring for Roy, while Roy's estranged mother gallivants around the world, sending home the occasional postcard.

When Roy returns from camp to find his father has taken in a foster kid, Sturgis, Roy isn't quite sure what to think. Sturgis likes his dad's bizarre culinary palate, manages to work twice as hard in the rainproofing business as he does, and even turns out to be a better baseball player. And a few days after he arrives in Moundville, the epic rain stops.

The sun shines for the first time in two decades, and Roy- with the help of his friends- set about building a baseball field. And once there's a field- well, it's time to finish that game against Sinister Bend that got rained out all those years ago. The only problem is, Sturgis- Moundville's star pitcher- plans to pitch for the other team.

Populated with a unique cast of characters (including a kid whose only English phrase is Search Me, and thus, becomes known as Google,) Mudville is a story that contains baseball for sure, but it's not about baseball. (And when it is, Scaletta does a brilliant job of illuminating the arcane art of junkballs and line drives, so the unfamiliar reader never feels lost.)

Scaletta mingles the spirit of classic fables and tall tales, local mythology, and baseball legend with a very human story about belonging.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Readers in Las Kato on March 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am ten, and my favorite thing about this book is that it had a good plot and it had suspense. It also had great characters. The setting was amazing. The last 25 pages are the best part of the book because it's the big game. I recommend this book to other readers who like sports. It's kind of like Tim Green's FOOTBALL GENIUS, another book I really liked.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack M. Berk on March 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This tale of baseball and family will keep you enthralled from the moment you start. It captures the feelings and actions of young people and it presents a story that you will greatly enjoy. The author rally knows baseball and that is a great bonus for any fan. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Life is full of defining moments, and baseball is no exception. From Walt Dropo's 15-hit run, to the immortal plays of Tinker to Evers to Chance to learning how to eat a hotdog (mustard and NO KETCHUP!), Mudville breathes new life into baseball legends and tells a great story along the way.

It's all about the percentages. There's a one in a billion chance that it will rain 8,030 consecutive days in a little town in the Dakotas, but with more than a billion towns that have existed on the earth, Moundville is the town that gets drenched. And it's proof-positive of percentages that the rain started just in time to cause a rain-delay in the bottom of the fourth inning of the big game between Sinister Bend and Moundville. It has nothing to do with an old Indian curse or even the long-standing rivalry between the settlers and the natives, at least that's what Roy McGuire would like to think.

So when Roy comes home from baseball camp to find his room invaded by his new foster brother, a descendant of the now-flooded town of Sinister Bend, Roy puts forth a worthy effort to make room in his life for Sturgis. But Sturgis doesn't make himself easy to love or even like. While the boys finally connect with Sturgis playing pitcher to Roy's catcher, there is still the issue of the unfinished game and Sturgis' past standing between them.

Roy McGuire is my new favorite catcher--sorry, A.J. You know I will always love the 2005 White Sox, but I've got to make room in my heart for the up-and-coming players--and Moundville is my new field of dreams. Full of humor, great plays and characters that jump off the pages, Kurtis Scaletta has created a defining moment in baseball literature.
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