In each of the nine books in this series (one per team member), the story is told from the point of view of young boys who play on a baseball team. Each story portrays typical problems or decisions kids might face at school, home or on the field. Every individual must tackle his belief in his abilities as well as work with others on the tram. These simple books will have readers who are just beginning to read chapter books clamoring for the next book. Although the text mentions the characters in the other stories, each volume can be read out of order or even as a stand alone title. Fans of Matt Christopher sports fiction will enjoy these reissued editions. The sports related vocabulary may be difficult for some readers who are not familiar with baseball terminology and play-by-plays. Recommended
Library Media Connection, March/April 2010
Grade Level 3-5. Somone sets out to put a kink into Nicky's race to breaking the runs-batted-in record. Nicky is superstitious, always using the same rituals. With his ritual broken, Nicky must pull from within to overcome his superstitions. The new colorful covers will likely renew interest in the series. Matt Christopher fans will not be disappointed and learn a good lesson at the same time in this reissue of a 1996 title.
Book Buzz, February 2010
A somewhat simplistic story, one of the "Peach Street Mudders" series, this tale will no doubt keep young baseball fans enthralled. It addresses a common topic among athletes--superstition--in the tale of Nicky Chong, who wants to break the league record for runs batted in. He's sure that his game rituals are the key to his success. But will he be able to reach his goal after his father unwittingly "jinxes" him? The answer is pretty obvious, but kids will probably still enjoy the formula. Young sports fans will enjoy lingo such as "a knee-high blazer" and "gloved a hot bouncer." Parents, teachers, and librarians will pray that the kids go on to better books. Ages 8 to 10.
Children's Literature Data Base
Nicky Chong hopes to establish a league record for runs batted in, but his own superstitious streak may prevent him from achieving that goal. Although baseball fans will enjoy the sports scenes, the formulaic story lacks depth and characterization is minimal. Category: Fiction. 1996, Little, 62pp. Ages 5 to 9. Rating: 4: Recommended, with minor flaws.
Horn Book, 1996
Nicky Chong, second baseman for the Peach Street Mudders, is closing in on his league's R.B.I. record. Being superstitious, he feels jinxed when his father mentions the record and is further stressed when someone locks him and a teammate in his family's shed, causing him to be late for one of the season's final games. Arriving during the second inning, Nicky finds his hitting skills haven't been affected by his father's statement, thus diminishing his fervent belief in superstitions. Furthermore, he's able to deduct who locked him up. This title, the seventh in the series, is one of Christopher's weaker efforts. Though baseball is a team sport, which should be emphasized in sports books for young readers, the whole focus here is on Nicky's quest for an individual record. Uncharacteristically, there are a couple of errors in game description. Black-and-white drawings appear throughout this beginning chapter book. For purchase only by those libraries that can't pass up a title by the prolific Christopher.
School Library Journal, June 1996