I had the honor of interviewing author David A. Kelly for the release of his book, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) two years ago at Get in the Game Read! That's why when I found out that he was going to be the author of an upcoming baseball series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy! The series is called The Ballpark Mysteries and as you can probably guess, it combines mysteries and some of the most famous ballparks across the United States! Talk about a great combination!
The first book in The Ballpark Mysteries, Ballpark Mysteries #1: The Fenway Foul-up (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)), takes place at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins are cousins and since Kate's mom is a sports reporter, they get great seats and not to mention, all-access to the ballpark. What kid wouldn't dream of that? However, as they watch batting practice, they discover that the bat of Big D, the Red Sox's best hitter, is stolen! Mike and Kate set off an adventure to uncover the clues that will solve the mystery.
I really enjoyed The Fenway Foul-up and can see how any 6- 9 year old baseball fan would step to the plate and devour this book like a box of Crackerjacks! Kelly intersperses the perfect mix of sports action, crime-solving and facts about Fenway Park. For example, young readers will be fascinated to learn that Fenway Park still uses a hand-operated scoreboard and the initials of the former owners are even hidden on the scoreboard. Dugout Notes at the end of the book provide more fun-filled baseball facts and you can catch a glimpse of Book #2, The Pinstripe Ghost--can't wait for this one!
To learn more about the series, please visit the official website, which even contains a personal blog from Mike Walsh himself.
Reading level: Ages 6-9
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 22, 2011)
Source of review copy: Publisher