SLUGGERS #5 by Loren Long


Blastin’ the Blues
Age Range: 10 - 12
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In this bloated, dispensable—and, despite the title and setting, blues-free—episode, the 1899 baseball team with the magic ball travels to New Orleans, discovers a spy (anachronistically dubbed a “mole”) in its ranks and sees eight-year-old Graham, son of the team’s catcher Elizabeth, come into his own as the superstar “Chosen One” destined to save baseball from a never-specified threat posed by the glowering “Chancellor.” Having slogged their way through hundreds of pages of reminiscences, fretful speculation and references to past incidents in the series—climaxed by an unsuspenseful game against the legendary Cy Young that the Travelin’ Nine win, as usual, by cheating with their magical baseball—readers are unlikely to care. The series premise has worn vanishingly thin, and neither the old-timey baseball talk nor Long’s occasional technically accomplished charcoal drawings are enough to keep this overlong leg of the road trip moving. (Historical fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1867-7
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010


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