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Children's LiteratureJoey Stoshack, the hero of Gutman's five previous books about time traveling via baseball cards, here finds himself transported to the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg. He had merely intended to settle the question of whether Abner Doubleday had invented the game of baseball, but ends up in the most dangerous circumstances of the "Baseball Card Adventure" series. As Gutman writes in a prefatory Author's Note, "This book contains more violent scenes than my previous books. It may not be suitable for younger readers." For this outing, Joey's mother comes along for the time-travel. Her nursing skills are much needed for the amputations and other battlefield operations, but she is turned aside by doctors who have not yet heard of sterilization. For fans of the series, this installment has less baseball than they have grown accustomed to. During a break from battle, Joey comes across an early form of the game, and the different rules throw him off balance. By the end of his trip, he concludes that Doubleday did not invent baseball and that he does not want to do any more time-traveling. Unfortunately for Joey, his mother does, and persuades him to try—with her—to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Of course, they do not succeed, but it is a suspenseful story nonetheless. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Abby McGanney Nolan