SHOELESS JOE AND ME by Dan Gutman

SHOELESS JOE AND ME

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Stories of time travel have appealed to readers for generations. Self-hypnosis, machines, time warps, and countless other devices have propelled heroes into amazing adventures. Thirteen-year-old Joe Stoshack has a unique method. He can travel back to any time period by holding on to an appropriate antique baseball card. Using this device, he has met Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, and Babe Ruth. In this fourth installment in the series, he travels to the year 1919, when America is reeling from the losses of The Great War, and even more so from the influenza epidemic that has killed millions, and when baseball is nearly destroyed as a result of the notorious “Black Sox Scandal.” Our hero “Stosh” overhears notorious gambler Arnold Rothstein and his cronies as they plot with members of the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series. Shoeless Joe Jackson wants no part of the fix. When one of the players gives him $5,000 “on account” from the gamblers, he tries to give it to team owner Comiskey and warn him of what is to come, but he is not believed. Joe plays his heart out, but cannot overcome the maneuvers of those in on the fix. Stosh tries desperately to help Jackson, but he is unable to change the outcome. Jackson will be banned from baseball for life as one of the “eight men out.” In charming subplots, Stosh saves the boy who would be his great uncle by giving him the flu medicine he has carried with him into the past and, by virtue of obtaining rare, authentic autographs from the nearly illiterate Jackson, he saves his friend’s business when he returns to his own time. Gutman keeps the action fast-paced and exciting. He creates a strong sense of time and place, using photographs and newspaper clippings, as well as Stosh’s acute observations, in a neat interweaving of fact and fantasy. In an afterword, he sets the record straight by clearly distinguishing the two elements. An entertaining romp that will appeal to those who love baseball, history, and fantasy. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029253-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2002




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