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Tales of the Travelin’ Nine, Game Two

by Loren Long and Phil Bildner & illustrated by Loren Long

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1864-6
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In order to raise money to pay off an enormous debt, Griffith, Graham, Ruby and their mother are barnstorming with the Travelin’ Nine, a baseball team made up of their late father’s friends from the Rough Riders. There are cryptic messages, a possible enemy, the obligatory cliffhanger and a magic baseball that seems to be responsible for astounding events that only the children and their team can see. This time, when the children grip the ball, thoroughbred horses, all Kentucky Derby winners, appear and have an effect on the outcome of the game. This second installment in the series is superior to the first in that it is better organized, with more fully developed structure and characters. Long and Bildner again incorporate the language and atmosphere of turn-of-the-20th-century baseball into their work, defining baseball slang via entries in the side margins. Highly detailed black-and-white drawings illustrate the events and capture the fantasy, and a miniature baseball vignette forms the first letter of each chapter. Bring on game three. (Fiction. 8-10)