Fantasy Baseball [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Wizard of Oz meets America's favorite pastime!

Alex Metcalf must be dreaming. What else would explain why he's playing baseball for the Oz Cyclones, with Dorothy as his captain, in the Ever After Baseball Tournament? But Alex isn't dreaming; he's just from the real world. And winning the tournament might be his only chance to get back there, because the champions get a ...
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Fantasy Baseball

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Overview

The Wizard of Oz meets America's favorite pastime!

Alex Metcalf must be dreaming. What else would explain why he's playing baseball for the Oz Cyclones, with Dorothy as his captain, in the Ever After Baseball Tournament? But Alex isn't dreaming; he's just from the real world. And winning the tournament might be his only chance to get back there, because the champions get a wish granted by the Wizard. Too bad Ever After's most notorious criminal, the Big Bad Wolf, is also after the wishes. And anyone who gets in his way gets eaten!

From beloved baseball author Alan Gratz comes a novel in which classic literary characters are baseball crazy, and one real-world boy must face his fears and discover the surprising truth about himself.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Continuing to use baseball as backdrop, Gratz (The Brooklyn Nine) moves from historical fiction to fantasy with a story that playfully mixes storybook characters with stadium action. When Alex finds himself in Ever After he's sure he's dreaming—case in point, he's recruited to play in a high-stakes tournament for a team captained by Dorothy Gale, she of the ruby red cleats. Dorothy's teammates include lesser-known Oz characters like Tik-Tok, Scraps, and Button Bright, who's in danger of fading away because nobody reads the sequel he appears in. They insist Alex is a "Lark," somebody's daydream, and not a book character at all, but they keep him because the kid can flat-out play. Eventually, Alex figures out whose daydream he is in a thread that adds poignancy and tension to a slightly unwieldy narrative, as the Oz team encounters Mother Goose, the critters from Redwall, L'Engle's Charles Wallace and Mrs. Which and Whatsit, among numerous literary cameos. The predictable ending is the only one possible, but Gratz frames it with an interesting question about what effect dreams can hope to have on the dreamer. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Alex, 12, finds himself on a bus filled with fantastic creatures, and no memory of getting there. He soon learns that he's in the midst of a baseball tournament in the land of Ever After. He's on a team, the Oz Cyclones, led by Dorothy, in her ruby cleats, and her story-book teammates: Toad, the Patchwork Girl, Tik-Tok, and Br'er Rabbit. Their rivals are also book characters; at one point, they play an all-heroines' team, but Alex doesn't recognize any of them: "He only ever read books about girls if his teacher made him." Alex is told he is a Lark, someone dreamed up by a person who is seriously ill. As he begins to die in the real world, Alex makes an enemy of the Big Bad Wolf and needs the protection of Nanny Mae and her cat, Mrs. P. Chock-full of whimsical references to children's literature, the plot builds rapidly with mile-a-minute action and well-drawn sports scenes. The mood ranges from lighthearted humor to grim melodrama, as Alex faces death. With some bumpy transitions, at times the book feels overburdened by its complex plot; however, Gratz saves the day with engaging, multilayered characters and attention to detail. Suggest this inventive sports fantasy to readers who've enjoyed Paul Haven's Two Hot Dogs with Everything (Random, 2006) or Julianna Baggott's The Prince of Fenway Park (HarperCollins, 2009).—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

Baseball enthusiast Alex finds himself thrust abruptly into the midst of an otherworldly baseball series in which his team, the Cyclones, includes pitcher Dorothy Gale, Tik-Tok, Br'er Rabbit and Toad of Toad Hall. Wrapped in a delirious, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink potpourri of children's folk and literary characters, Gratz's book is a slim meditation about what it means to be alive, mortal, dreaming, waking, remembered or forgotten. Dozens of characters, familiar and obscure, make appearances as players, groundskeepers, bus drivers and umpires, all crammed into this Ever After travel tournament perpetually menaced by the Big Bad Wolf. Few are given chances to use their unique personalities in service of the game, so busy are they in getting on and off stage. Alex struggles with an important question: Is he a real boy or is he a merely a "Lark" dreamed up by a sleeping boy? Poignant, occasional glimpses of Alex's real-world self, coping with chemotherapy, sickness and exhaustion, offer clues to his presence in the fantasy world: Should he care if he ever gets back? Gratz's lithe humor delivers some good puns, literary and other allusions and one decent takeoff on "Who's on first?" But the relatively few fine baseball moments are surrounded by what seems like stuffing right out of the Patchwork Girl, while the meaning of Alex's sojourn in Ever After is obscured by the crowd. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Kirkus Reviews

Baseball enthusiast Alex finds himself thrust abruptly into the midst of an otherworldly baseball series in which his team, the Cyclones, includes pitcher Dorothy Gale, Tik-Tok, Br'er Rabbit and Toad of Toad Hall. Wrapped in a delirious, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink potpourri of children's folk and literary characters, Gratz's book is a slim meditation about what it means to be alive, mortal, dreaming, waking, remembered or forgotten. Dozens of characters, familiar and obscure, make appearances as players, groundskeepers, bus drivers and umpires, all crammed into this Ever After travel tournament perpetually menaced by the Big Bad Wolf. Few are given chances to use their unique personalities in service of the game, so busy are they in getting on and off stage. Alex struggles with an important question: Is he a real boy or is he a merely a "Lark" dreamed up by a sleeping boy? Poignant, occasional glimpses of Alex's real-world self, coping with chemotherapy, sickness and exhaustion, offer clues to his presence in the fantasy world: Should he care if he ever gets back? Gratz's lithe humor delivers some good puns, literary and other allusions and one decent takeoff on "Who's on first?" But the relatively few fine baseball moments are surrounded by what seems like stuffing right out of the Patchwork Girl, while the meaning of Alex's sojourn in Ever After is obscured by the crowd. (Fantasy. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101476086
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/17/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 239,751
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 237 KB

Meet the Author

Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a carefree but humid childhood, he attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing and later a Master's degree in English education. In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E's City Confidential, Alan has taught catapult building to middle schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, and lectured as a Czech university. Currently, Alan lives with his wife Wendi and daughter Jo in the high country of western North Carolina, where he enjoys reading, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, watching baseball.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    Awesome!!!

    One of the best books i've ever read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Amazing read!

    What a fantanstic blend of children's literature and baseball. All of your favorite characters from classic children's stories 'team up' to play in an unbelievable baseball tournament. Keep believing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Anonymous

    Jinkies

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Jszj

    This is SOOOOOOOOOO stupid and BORING!!!!! I wish i could give it NEGATIVE stars or.at least zero, but i cant. Dang it.
    P.S. you is MUSTY!!!!!!!!!L

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    WHITE SOX UPDATE

    Wins against the red sox 7-5

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Silverpaw

    Sits

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Fury

    Hey guys

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

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