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Oliver's Game (Tavares baseball books) Hardcover – February 23, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–As he did in Zachary's Ball (Candlewick, 2000), Tavares creates a moving tribute to baseball. Young Oliver Hall is named after his grandfather, who runs a collectibles store near Wrigley Field. They share a love of the sport and Oliver relishes his grandfather's stories about the "Golden Age of the Game." When the boy uncovers an old Chicago Cubs uniform, he is astonished to discover that it belongs to his grandfather. The man relates how, back in 1941 when he was 18 years old, the Cubs' manager saw him playing stickball, invited him to practice with the team, and gave him a uniform. After watching Oliver hit one over the bleachers, the manager encouraged him to try out for the team. However, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, Oliver joined the Marines instead. After suffering a career-ending injury, he returned home to find that baseball evoked bittersweet feelings, until the thrilling World Series of 1945 reawakened his love for it. The sepia-toned illustrations, done in pencil and watercolor, create a lushly nostalgic mood. Reminiscent of Chris Van Allsburg's style, Tavares's artwork is notable for its vivid detail and animation. The text masterfully weaves together tradition, perseverance, loyalty, and family lore, and the result will enchant baseball fans young and old. Pair this well-crafted offering with Donald Hall's excellent When Willard Met Babe Ruth (Harcourt, 1996).–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-4. A bit of baseball history and some World War II memory come together in this evocative picture book for older children. Oliver loves working in his grandfather's baseball memorabilia store, right across from Wrigley Field. When he finds an old Cubs uniform, he asks his grandfather about it. Grandpa spins an involving story of the stickball player he was, invited to practice with the team. Then came the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted, and baseball seemed far away. A war injury kept him from playing again. He tells his grandson, though, that he still feels a part of the game, watching from the roof of the building where the shop is and cheering his team on. Marvelously executed pencil illustrations colored in sepia tones gently capture the spirit and the time. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Series: Tavares baseball books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (February 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763618527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763618520
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is terrific. It is a simple tale of a boy and his love of baseball. It discreetly informs the reader how baseball is so unique, as it is composed of so many people. Not just the players. Although recently written, it captures the feeling of the 1940's. It empowers one to respect the players, as well as the spectators, who are integral to the game. For all who love the game, whether you have played or not, it is a great tale.
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Format: Hardcover
We received this as a gift for my son's 4th birthday and read it to him without 'vetting' it first.
The character in the book decides to serve his country instead of playing Pro ball. When he returns from war, his injuries prevent him from playing and he requires a cane to walk. When he first returns from war, he finds it hard to watch the game, but later he enjoys being a part of the game as a spectator.
Fortunately, we'd never had to explain the concept of war to our son. (He doesn't watch the news and we have no immediate relations serving in the military). It's a little bit of a sad story, but has good lessons. My son continues to choose it as a bedtime book. And once we were over the initial surprise that we had to answer questions about combat - my husband and I are happy to read it to him.
Very nice illustrations and about a 5 minute read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book. Love the illustrations. Nice book to read to kids and keep for them later in life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
touching story......nicely done...Matt Tavares makes even a non-baseball person relate to this story and care about the characters.....you'll enjoy it
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