Stranger in Right Field
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Stranger in Right Field

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Look Inside There is a new player on the Peach Street Mudders, and Alfie Maples must figure out how to help him improve his game. Back by popular demand and newly revised, we now offer the complete Peach Street Mudders series. Young sports fans can progress to these early chapter books about the kids on a community baseball team. All titles are written by Matt Christopher with black & white illustrations throughout.

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    New Peach Street Mudders Sports Library
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    Matt Christopher
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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


Grade Level 3-5. When a new player joins the Mudders, the coach asks Alfie to help the new kid, who really is not a good player. Alfie's efforts to help the new kid improve to the point Alfie is worried about his starting position. 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 1997 title.

Book Buzz, February 2010

These baseball stories are told from a realistic point of view. They include the adventures and misadventures of kids who are playing on a neighborhood baseball team. Recommended.

Richardson Independent School District's Library Media Services Book Review Program, June 2010

Roberti Franteli is the newest member of the Peach Street Mudders baseball team. He has not tried out for the team, doesn't know a thing about baseball, and is driven to practice in a limousine. Alfie Maples is asked to help Roberti learn the game. The two become fast friends even though Alfie is convinced Roberti is trying to take over his position in right field. Who is this stranger and why does he really need Alfie's help? Read more about the Peach Street Mudders and their adventures in baseball in Shadow Over Second and All Star Fever, also in the series by Christopher. Category: Beg. Chapter Books; Realistic Fiction; Sports. Grade Level: Primary (K-3rd grade). Ages 5 to 9.

BookHive (

Alfie is insecure about his baseball skills and can't understand why Coach Parker asks him to work with the newest teammate, Roberti. Alfie fears Roberti is after his position in the outfield, but he befriends Roberti anyway. As Roberti's baseball improves, Alfie doubts the wisdom of his helpfulness. Roberti is quiet about himself and comes to practice in a limousine, facts that puzzle all the members of the Peach Street Mudders. An unexpected ending will delight young readers, and baseball fans will enjoy the descriptions of the games and accompanying emotions. Occasional black-and-white illustrations aid in making this a good choice for early readers. Category: Middle Readers. Gr. 2-4.

Booklist, September 1, 1997

When Roberti Frantelli joins his youth baseball team, Alfie is charged with teaching this mysterious newcomer the finer points of the game. Fearing the new boy is about to take his place as the Mudders' right-fielder, Alfie is pleasantly surprised to learn Roberti is a young actor doing incognito research for a baseball film. The plot is improbable, but fans will enjoy the baseball tips and familiar characters. (Peach Street Mudders Story series). Category: Fiction. 61pp.Ages 5 to 9. Rating: 4: Recommended, with minor flaws.

Horn Book (The Horn Book Guide)

Gr. 2-3--Alfie Maples is puzzled when he sees that the newest member of the Peach Street Mudders baseball team cannot catch or hit the ball very well. He is even more suspicious when the coach asks him to help Roberti Frantelli learn the ropes. Because Alfie is not a star player, he is worried that the coach will replace him with Roberti, whom he has taught everything he knows. Again, Christopher has made his major character a boy with whom young readers can empathize. Woven within the plot are subtle pointers on how to play the game. Pen-and-ink sketches illustrate the action. It's unfortunate that the publisher has again printed the annoying ad on the back cover enticing readers to join the Matt Christopher Fan Club by sending a dollar with no mention of what they'll get in return. That aside, readers will enjoy this story--and it's most unlikely that they'll guess the ending that explains why Roberti is on the team.

School Library Journal, October 1997
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