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by Jr. Ripken & illustrated by Ron Mazellan

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-399-24492-1
Publisher: Philomel

Cal Ripken, Jr. set many records in his baseball career, including one that had been said to be unbreakable: Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games; Ripken played a remarkable 2,632 consecutive games. He could have chosen to write about that achievement or his many other accomplishments. Instead, he writes about the most disastrous season of his career. The Orioles lost on opening day and continued losing the next 21 games. Ripken recalls the streak game by game as it affected him and his teammates. Hounded and ridiculed by sportswriters and fans, they felt angry, bewildered, embarrassed and frustrated. Surely they would win the next game, or the next. Ripken speaks directly to the reader in a gentle, encouraging voice of the lessons to be learned from adversity. Mazellan’s illustrations depict the events as seen from the dugout, conveying the players’ emotions with close-up focus on their stances and body language. This one is a winner. (Picture book. 6-10)