Guide to Juvenile Baseball Books: I

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Convincing Young Adult fare with plenty of downstate Illinois local color and believable characters. From an editor of Black Table, who went on to create Deadspin.

I would keep the ending – where he pitches a no-hitter in the pennant-winning game – a secret, if I wasn't confident that I am the last person in the history of the Universe who will actually read this book.

A novel that teaches tolerance and accommodation for the retarded; the sport theme is central.

No, there's nothing campy about the title. One of a series of junior-reader type kids' mysteries with various themes.

Engaging, active picture book. Lewis's text, in verse, echoes "Casey at the Bat."

Pleasant intermediate novel.

Clever concept for a picture book.

One of a series of intermediate-reader science-oriented mysteries, with various activities and puzzles in the back of the book.

Not exactly Free Willy, but heartwarming enough on its own terms.

Beautifully crafted novel that succeeds as immigrant fiction, as a young girl's narrative, and as baseball story.

Criticism: Morris, Natov.

A well-crafted look at the dynamics of step-families, tempered with considerable humor.

Sanguine novel that insists that talent and dreams are all you really need to overcome any obstacle. Notable for unpatronizing treatment of Hispanic characters by an Anglo author; for a similar approach, see Corbett.

Intelligent exploration of both the energy of sport and the inertial forces of racism.