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Cal Ripken, Jr.'s All-Stars: Super-sized Slugger Hardcover – March 6, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: Cal Ripken, Jr.’s All Stars
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142314001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423140016
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered for my grandson to read on my kindle but there wasn't time for him to do so I read it. Good book. Unfortunately I am not tech enough to get my copy to him so I read it myself. Still hope he gets to read it. He is 12 and an excellent baseball player.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
He said he loved both of them.
We have,no bookstores around here that carry these and if I were to special order them I would have had to pay the original price plus the postage costs and the fact that I don't drive I would have had to pay someone to bring to the store.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My middle grade son loves this series. The new one always comes out around his birthday, and it is always the first item on his birthday list. Very comparable to Mike Lupica easier reads or Matt Christopher books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book, written by Cal Ripken is an excellent book to help build character, morals, and principles for young readers. I enjoyed reading this. Both of my children play baseball, so I picked it up when we were in Aberdeen, MD along with a few other of his books.

Anyway, Cody Parker is the new kid on the block. His dad took a transfer from Milwaukee, Wi to Baltimore, MD as part of a job promotion. Now his dad is police detective. However, Cody stayed inside and remained sedentary most of the summer, which doesn't do much for a kid who already has problems with his weight (he likes food). Yes, he was athletic, but that wasn't the initial reaction of his fellow classmates when they first saw him- especially one kid in particular. Continue Reading.

So Cody's favorite sport was baseball, and so it was for his arch-enemy as well. Dante was out to make Cody's welcome here a living nightmare- ON AND OFF the field. They were at practice (tryouts), and Cody voiced that he would like to play at 3rd. However, Coach Hammond believed he might do better in the outfield (because of his weight- thinking this kid is not athletic at all). UNTIL he saw him play. BUT Dante wanted to play 3rd too, and that's where the trouble began. Dante said 3rd base is "MINE." However, tryouts are tryouts, and Coach Hammond didn't see it that way. In fact, he liked what he saw in Cody, and was glad to see him as part of the Baltimore Orioles. Dante was not going to be playing 3rd base.

Dante, not being happy with this decision, bullies Cody in school frequently. Read the book to see how Cody handles Dante throughout the story along with a little help from his new teammate friends, his new neighbor friend Jessica, and his dad who had a similar nightmare when he was a kid.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Action packed, and full of play by play really baseball action. Great characters that my son can identify. Also has a light hearted way of talking about real tween topics like bullying, and be an overweight athletic kids. Can't wait to buy the textbook!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have difficulty finding a book that your young sports fan will read - this is for you! My nephew doesn't like to read much, but likes sports. This book has enough baseball to keep his interest, but also had great messages about sportsmanship-like conduct. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Cody Parker is the new kid on the block. He's overweight, scared, and hates his new life in Dullsville, Maryland. Plus he's competing for the third base position on the baseball team with Dante Rizzo, a budding hoodlum. Wow! Can anything else go wrong with Cody? It sounds like he's got a lot going against him. And will people ever see Cody for who he really is?
I hate being stereotyped. It's like the kid who grows up on the wrong side of the tracks. It reminds me of the Walt Disney movie "Lady and the Tramp."
Using baseball as a platform, Cal Ripken Jr. talks a lot about different aspects in sports and teaches kids of all ages how to ride above the circumstances, and I give this exciting baseball story five stars. Marvin P. Ferguson, author of THE UNKNOWN BASEBALL PLAYER.
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Format: Paperback
this book is a great read for any baseball loving kid like me. In my opinion this is the best sports book I have ever read. I love the suspense it gives you when the dad and kid get into a fight. then the heart warming ending. Cal, and Kevin hit a home run.

Cade O'Hehir
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