Sylvester Coddmyer III really wants to play baseball for his middle school team, the Hooper Redbirds, but both his hitting and fielding are mediocre at best, so he decides not to sign up as he feels sure he will only sit on the bench. Syl, as he is called, meets the puzzling Mr. Baruth who gives him a few pointers that allow him to suddenly be a much improved ballplayer. Soon he is the star of the Redbirds and, as the title says, hits a home run every time he comes to bat. There to cheer him on at every game is his friend and mentor, George Baruth, who also helps Syl deal with the increasing media attention. This title and all the others in the “Matt Christopher Sports Library” are one answer to getting boys interested in reading. Though the books have been around for a long time, they are still timely and appealing. All libraries should have them on the shelves, and they should be routinely introduced to their intended audience.
Norwood House has produced large-print hardback library versions of the Matt Christopher Sports Library of sports oriented fiction for grades 3-6. This spring’s offerings include Catch That Pass; Center Court Sting; The Kid Who Only Hit Homers; Mountain Bike Mania; Snowboard Showdown; and Soccer Halfback. Each book provides exciting stories with conflicts centered around the different sports that kids love. These are sturdy volumes made to withstand many readings. Each is a fun read that still provides important, values-based food for thought. They are perfect for young reluctant readers. They are “Accelerated Reader” compatible. We rated this excellent series five hearts.
Reader: Bob Spear