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By age 17, only about 1 in 17 seventeen year olds can read and gain information from specialized text, for example the... More
Summary: Joey Stoshack, a 14-year-old baseball player, has a special gift. His vintage baseball cards allow Joey to travel through time. He has personally met several of baseball’s greatest players. Bobby Fuller, a school bully, discovers Joey’s talent and wants to go back in time to meet his great great grandfather, Jim Thorpe. Travel by time warp is dangerous, one glitch can trap time travelers and prevent their safe return. This is a middle-grade fantasy that weaves baseball history in a story about family, friendship, and choices.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 14
Young Reader Reaction: Jim and Me is a well-crafted combination of American history, baseball culture, and life lessons, all blended into a tale of two teenagers on a memorable journey. The characters are very well-developed. They are average American teenagers battling everyday issues such as a rivalry with a school bully. The lessons and realizations that Stosh and Fuller gain throughout their journey to the past are very applicable and relatable to the real lives of the readers. The overwhelmingly popular baseball theme will undoubtedly capture the interest of many average young adults. Combine that with the adventure and excitement of time travel and accounts of past baseball legends, and the story provides for both an enjoyable and an educational read.
Adult Reader Reaction: Vintage baseball cards are the “device” that enables the characters to travel through time. This idea gives the author an endless source of material for new baseball card adventures and keeps the readers looking for the next book.
Pros: Any Little League baseball player will enjoy this book. The stories revolve around famous baseball players and incidents from their playing days. Time travel and the dangers therein provide the excitement and danger that grab young readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an engaging read, and baseball fans will treasure the combination of history and adventure.
Educational Themes: This book is an enjoyable read for adolescents who are also baseball fans. Because the book is written by an author who is in tune with his audience, the readers will stay engaged with the book and with reading.