From the Spectacular Sports series

Endlessly fascinating and a sharing opportunity for children and adults who love the game.

A condensed history of the World Series is filled with information and selected highlights.

Although there had been a series in 1903, the first officially recognized World Series occurred in 1905, in the early years of what is considered the modern age of baseball. Since then, there have been thrills and spectacles, heroes and goats, and games that have reverberated through the years in memory and controversy. Doeden presents the Fall Classic’s basic history as well as chapters spotlighting special games, players and individual moments, balancing long-ago events and players with those of recent years. All of them are interesting and informative, but no criteria are given concerning the selections. Every fan will find some favorites and also experience disappointment that some special ones are left out. A final chapter speculates on the future of the World Series and of baseball itself. Text is composed in accessible, conversational language and carefully arranged with clear headings in red display type announcing the player or the date and the teams involved, all augmented by period action photos and statistics. There are also sidebars, framed on a grass-green field, offering further information about the dead ball era, the Commissioner’s Trophy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, the Curse of the Bambino and more.

Endlessly fascinating and a sharing opportunity for children and adults who love the game. (statistics, source notes, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1896-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014


In no particular order and using no set criteria for his selections, veteran sportscaster Berman pays tribute to an arbitrary gallery of baseball stars—all familiar names and, except for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, retired from play for decades. Repeatedly taking the stance that statistics are just numbers but then reeling off batting averages, home-run totals, wins (for pitchers) and other data as evidence of greatness, he offers career highlights in a folksy narrative surrounded by photos, side comments and baseball-card–style notes in side boxes. Readers had best come to this with some prior knowledge, since he casually drops terms like “slugging percentage,” “dead ball era” and “barnstorming” without explanation and also presents a notably superficial picture of baseball’s history—placing the sport’s “first half-century” almost entirely in the 1900s, for instance, and condescendingly noting that Jackie Robinson’s skill led Branch Rickey to decide that he “was worthy of becoming the first black player to play in the majors.” The awesome feats of Ruth, Mantle, the Gibsons Bob and Josh, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and the rest are always worth a recap—but this one’s strictly minor league. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4022-3886-4

Page Count: 138

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010


Hockey was born in Canada, so it comes as a shock to learn that the first Inuit to play in the National Hockey League was Jordin Tootoo, who made it to the Nashville Predators in 2003. This profile comes as a salubrious corrective. Florence tracks Tootoo’s life from its start up near the Arctic Circle—he grew up in a remote community that still lives by hunting and fishing (“For us, fast food is when you shoot an animal and eat it right there”) and where you could skate on the frozen land for half of the year—and then through the years of league play in preparation for a professional career. Readers get a clear idea of how difficult it can be to be groomed for the NHL: Tootoo left home at 14 to pursue his dream—especially difficult on this tight-knit family—and had to contend with racism and the suicide of his much-loved older brother at a brutally young age. His story unfolds in darting, often concussive sentences that mimic the tempo of a hockey game as well as Tootoo’s agitational, bang-’em-up style. Like her subject, the author doesn’t pull many punches in Tootoo’s rousing, rather hard-bitten tale, which, thankfully, has a storybook ending aimed directly at teenage-boy reluctant readers. (Biography. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55277-529-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: James Lorimer

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2011

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