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Claire Mackay
Toronto, Scholastic Canada, 1994. 96pp, paper, $14.95
ISBN 0-59024200-8. CIP

Reviewed by Pat Steenbergen

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November / December

Claire Mackay has written a book that will be enjoyed by both fans and casual observers of the game of baseball. Her previous publications include Mini-bike Hero (Scholastic, 1991), The Minerva Program,1 and The Toronto Story.2 She is the recipient of the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. Illustrator Bill Slavin's previous works include The Cat Came Back 3 and Lemonade Parade.4

In a lively style, Mackay introduces all the aspects of the game and its history. "What's a ground rule double?" someone new to the game may want to know. Mackay explains it better than any sportscaster. On the other hand, there is lots for the fan as well: for example, did you know that one day in April 1986 there were nine shortstops from the Dominican Republic playing in major league games--four from the same town.

The chapters are arranged as innings starting with the development of baseball from "Rounders" to the game we know today. This is followed by descriptions of the equipment and how it has changed; the ball parks; and the players. Naturally, since this is a baseball book, there is a chapter of statistics; however, this also includes a lesson in reading the box score and on how to keep score.

Throughout there are sidebars giving tidbits illustrating the topic discussed. These references are often to the Negro League, the early history of baseball, or Canadian players. Although the Blue Jays were a dominant team when the book was being written, they do not dominate player or statistical references. The illustrations include colourfull drawings and photographs in both black and white and colour. The layout of the pages with main text boxes and illustrations is attractive and not distracting, as sometimes happens when there is a lot of information on a page. There is a glossary and index.

Highly recommended for both school and public libraries.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up

Pat Steenbergen is a job-sharing librarian in the Professional Library for the staff of the Board of Education for the City of York in Toronto, Ontario

1. Reviewed vol. XII/6 November 1984, p. 244.
2. Reviewed vol. XIX/2 March 1991, p. 107.
3. Reviewed vol. XX/6 November 1992, p. 308.
4. Reviewed vol. XIX/6 November 1991, p. 352.

line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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