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 3-6. Matt Christopher's sport stories have entertained readers for decades because they are well written and packed with play-by-plays. In addition, the conflict element of his stories always centers around down-to-earth issues that characters must resolve based on values and ethics that young people are just developing. In this story, Zero must stop trying to impress others and he learns that slow and steady progress and practice are the keys to better playing. Readers identify readily with the characters like Zero, and the plots and actions are familiar and interesting enough to keep readers reading. It appears the 2010 publication of this series by Norwood House Press has two purposes. First, the book itself is larger; it is as wide as a chapter book but as tall as an early reader. Therefore, the pagination is different and makes the book less intimidating. Secondly, repackaging the book makes it look like a brand new series adn it is more attractive. However, regardless of what this new publisher does, the story itself is still a Christopher classic and thus readers can be guaranteed a story that is a good substitute for a rained out game on any Saturday afternoon.
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
Christopher's latest in the Springboard Books series is sure to interest both baseball fans and children ready for chapter books. Zero, whose pitching is frequently erratic, develops the ability to throw perfect sliders after he accidentally injures his throwing hand. The question is, what will happen when he's healed? There's also the problem of finding a substitute coach. Zero would like to ask Uncle Pete to coach the team but worries that Pete won't be interested unless Zero continues to throw great pitches. The tension builds to a believable ending, and because the black-and-white illustrations are more cartoonish than realistic (Zero's age could be anywhere from 8 to 12), the book will please teachers needing high-interest materials for middle-school readers. Category: Middle Readers.
Booklist, June 1994
When Zero Ford injures his finger and is unable to pitch for the Peach Street Mudders, he feels that he has let down his Uncle Pete, whom he wants to be the substitute coach for the next few games. While injured, Zero masters a new pitch -- the slider -- but is unsure that he can throw the pitch when the bandage comes off. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate the book, which will satisfy baseball fans.
Horn Book, September 1994