Guide to Juvenile Baseball Books: A

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Told with perception and sympathy.

Cam, you see, stores mental pictures of whatever goes on. She's a walking pre-teen surveillance system. After she identifies the perp, she summons the police, who baldly violate his Fourth Amendment rights. Teachers and school librarians seem to love her, but I am worried by little Miss Jansen.

Until, naturally, they find inadvertently that they can do even better without him. A pleasant enough variation on an ancient theme.

Picture book that tells its simple story through the eyes of the ballplayer's young daughter Amy.

Mark Riley, the protagonist, is a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. One of a series of children's books featuring diversely abled characters.

The first edition of this picture book was a British publication by HarperCollins.

The entry between Turtle's Adventure and Victor's Adventure in Alden's popular series.

The shortstop's name in this story is "Pinky Jennifer." Ah, those were more innocent times . . .

"Alex B. Allen" appears to be a pseudonym for prolific collaborators Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Clief.

Wacky and well-written, this novel about a sabermetrician's dream ballplayer suffers only from its inherent lack of tension: since Dave King can draw a walk at will, the only suspense is in wondering when he won't (how does the seventh game of the Series sound?) Much-imitated, notably by Matt Christopher and Troon McAllister; there are also elements here of the archetype that Bernard Malamud would draw on for The Natural.

Note: the author is NOT the same Bob Allison who starred for the Twins in the 1960s.

Pleasant little yarn with a modest double-twist at the end.

While Tom Huntner is blazing those fastballs, we get a comic-relief subplot where a chubby pal of his becomes an amateur graphologist, and a sinister subplot involving Lanky, a teammate who breaks training to smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and hang around with "middle-aged men who looked as if they might have been the villains of any of a dozen books Tom had read!" Lanky is the one stiff-necked player who hasn't responded to the evangelism of the improbably-named coach Dyke Southern. When Lanky is finally arrested, "Tom turned and went to his room, to pray as he had never prayed."

First in a successful series of novels about the batterymates.

Criticism: Koishihara

There's not all that much baseball here till the final scene. Inspired by the author's husband Herm Auch, the model for Norm, One-Handed Catch is a well-constructed, imaginative recreation of a disabled child's adjustment to the world, both physically and socially.