RULES OF THE GAME by Marjorie Maddox


Baseball Poems
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 14
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A singularly unattractive, cramped design does nothing to help this collection of baseball-themed poems. From “Balk” to “Grand Slam,” 42 poems tackle seemingly every aspect of play, even including the defunct “Catch on Bound” rule that hasn’t pertained for eons. Some of the imagery is nicely apt: from “Home Run,” “Anything less is a slice. / Hungry, you want the whole pie. / With the ball out of sight past the wall, / you crave every last crumb of the run...” Internal rhymes and wordplay provide most of the energy that drives this particular engine, and at their best, they’re good fun. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of poems—often four to a spread, all rendered in the same tightly leaded lines of type in a 13-point font—overwhelms readers. Sandford’s pencil illustrations, some hyperrealistic, some more playful (a startled batter, Band-aid on his hand, jumps out of the path of a “Beanball”), are set on an unvaried pale-orange background; the relentless visual sameness of each spread combines with the mass of print on the page to strike this one out. (Picture book/poetry. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-603-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009

Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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