There are so many good features about this series. The highly visual layout of the Team Spirit books will be popular for upper elementary and middle school baseball fans. The books are divided into multiple short sections that are the same in each book. This could contribute to an effection lesson on text structure with different students exploring books from this series and looking at the features for comparison. The large photographs have good resolution, and layout is uncluttered and easy to follow. Special features like the timeline, fun facts, and Great Debates are well done. The "Talking Baseball" quotes could appeal to teachers looking for ways to help students interpret quotations. Map features provide an opportunity to expose students to U.S. and world geography. The glossary has icons that differentiate between sports vocabulary and other vocabulary. The lack of subheadings within most of the sections does create some large "chunks" of text that may be intimidating to some struggling readers, but if they are interested in the content, the text is written well and they may stick to it. This is a good update to the previous series, and the Extra Innings section on the Norwood Press website provies updates through the current season as well as some additional player information not included in the books.
Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, 2013
The updated Team Spirit series by Norwood House Press covers both National and American League teams. The author has added an emphasis on content that will be appreciated by true fans of baseball including a chapter on historical debates surrounding the teams and a look at souvenirs and memorabilia. Readers are also able to explore the history and key players for each team through content that is rich with photographs and graphics. Each book in the series contains the exact same chapters. This feature would make this series a great set of books for introducing students to non-fiction text features. It would also support a class research project.
Arlington Independent School District, July 2012
The revamped Team Spirit series of MLB franchise profiles keeps some of the content from the 2007 editions but adds a good deal of new features and brings each team into the present day. New chapters like "Legend Has It," which looks at unique team lore, and "Talking Baseball," which doles out notable quotes from players and managers, help add some personality to each identically structured book. The best new feature is easily the "Great Debates" spread, which will introduce readers to one of the great joys of fandom: the endlessly debatable "what if" questions in which you can prove your passion and knowledge for your team while pooh-poohing your friend for the same. In The Minnesota Twins, we're invited to decide the team's best shortstop (Zoilo Versailles or Cecil Travis?) and ponder who made the team's most memorable catch (bonus points if you said Sam Rice). The Oakland Athletics treats readers to a debate weighing pitchers Catfish Hunter and Lefty Grove and compares the 1970s A's with the 1930s squad. The Seattle Mariners argues whether the loaded 1995 Mariners lineup would have beaten the 116-win 2001 team, or whether Randy Johnson or Felix Hernandez should be considered the Mariners' all-time best pitcher. And The Toronto Blue Jays compares the arms of Roberto Alomar and Jesse Barfield as well as the curveballs of Roy Halladay and Dave Steib. In all, the new content makes it worth your while to update the series, and links to additional online information seal the deal.
Booklist, May 1st, 2012
Beginning in 1901 as the Washington Senators, the Minnesota Twins moved to Minnesota in 1967. Early in their history they were a good team, winning the World Series in 1924 and having very good seasons in 1925 and 1933. However, they began to lose, getting to the point where their owner decided they needed to move. While their home is in Minneapolis, they are called the Minnesota Twins, representing the state name and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. As with their history as the Senators, the Twins have risen and fallen as a team. In 1987 after struggling with good teams they finally won another World Series. Everyone thought they had it made when they won again in 1991. What happened next will surprise many readers. However, one must read this great book written by author Mark Stewart. Often, sports books for younger readers leave out the off-the-field history of sports teams. Mark Stewart recognizes the important influence of all of a team's history, making this a great read for younger and older readers alike. As with other books in the "Team Spirit" series, the author focuses on the team but includes general information about the sport being discussed. A good addition to any public or school library.
Young sports fans will welcome this series’ offerings covering major basketball, football, and baseball teams. Each book begins with an introduction to the team, some history, and information on the team today. The venue in which the team plays is described with many statistics. The team’s uniforms, and the changes these have had over the years, as well as an introduction to the parts of the uniform specific to each sport, are covered. The books give vital statistics on pioneers and super stars of each team. Unfamiliar words related to the sport are typed in bold and explained in either the glossary, or in a separate section of “other words to know.” A section of “Fun Facts” offers supplemental information, such as Joe DiMaggio marrying Marilyn Monroe or David Robinson growing nine inches during his time at the Naval Academy. Records are listed, and a list of places to visit, as well as books, Web sites, and a map showing the birthplaces of the players, make these books useful for the browsing fan or the student doing a report on a favorite team. The tone is consistently positive, and controversy related to the team is kept out of the discussions. This series is valuable for the youngest sports fans. Timeline. Index. Recommended.
LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION, November/December 2006