Kelly kicks off his Ballpark Mysteries series of early readers by introducing cousins and budding sleuths Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins, who are trying to figure out who has stolen the lucky bat of a star Boston Red Sox player. While few readers will doubt whether Mike and Kate will save the day, Kelly throws in plenty of behind-the-scenes Fenway Park trivia (both in the story and in an appendix) and keeps the story moving at a quick pace, which should easily hold baseball-lovers' attention. Meyers contributes b&w artwork not seen by PW. Also available: The Pinstriped Ghost. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)
Thanks to Kate's mom, a sports reporter, cousins Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins have tickets to the Red Sox game and All Access passes to Fenway Park. But as they're watching batting practice before the game, the lucky bat of Red Sox star slugger Big D is stolen . . . right in front of dozens of people. Without the bat, Big D can't seem to hit a thing. Can Kate and Mike figure out who pinched the bat before Big D and the Sox chalk up a loss?
The Fenway Foul-Up includes a fun fact page about Boston's Fenway Park.
Cross Ron Roy's mystery series with Matt Christopher's sports books and you get the Ballpark Mysteries: fun, puzzling whodunnits aimed right at beginning readers.
"Folding information about Fenway Park and its colorful history into the tale, Kelly also artfully slips in simple red herrings along with real clues to the thief’s identity and the bat’s whereabouts that sharper readers may pick up before the young detectives do...Leading off a formulaic series that will take Mike and Kate to baseball parks around the major leagues, this book should draw baseball fans as well as budding whodunit aficionados." - Booklist
"A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery...Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading." - Kirkus Reviews
"Kelly throws in plenty of behind-the-scenes Fenway Park trivia (both in the story and in an appendix) and keeps the story moving at a quick pace, which should easily hold baseball-lovers' attention." - Publisher's Weekly
"...should score with the series chapter-book gang, particularly kids who enjoy the blend of fiction and information that keeps the Magic Tree House thriving. There are a couple of sly misdirections to please beginner mystery readers, some Fenway-specific trivia to intrigue nonfiction readers, and the promise of the entire gamut of major-league baseball stadiums yet to visit for those continuing with the series. A scattering of black-and-white pictures and appended “Dugout Notes” extend the fun." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"...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." - Examiner.com
A new series for emerging chapter-book readers combines the allure of baseball parks with the challenge of solving a mystery. Mike and Kate have tickets to a Red Sox game and an all-access pass to the park, courtesy of Kate's mom, a sportswriter. The pass comes in handy when it's reported that star player Big D's lucky bat has been stolen, as it allows them to help find the thief. Historical details about Fenway Park, including the secret code found on the manual scoreboard, a look at Wally the mascot and a peek into the gift shop, will keep the young baseball fan reading, even when the actual mystery of the missing bat falls a little flat. Writing mysteries for very young readers is a challenge—the puzzle has to be easy enough to solve while sustaining readers' interest. This slight adventure is more baseball-park travel pamphlet than mystery, a vehicle for providing interesting details about one of the hallowed halls of baseball. Not a homerun, but certainly a double for the young enthusiast. On deck? The Pinstripe Ghost, also out on Feb. 22, 2011. (historical notes)(Mystery. 6-9)