*On a personal note, I was out of the office for most of February and March, and I’m slowly getting back up to speed here on the blog, the Quacktory newsletter, on queries and requested manuscripts, and of course still taking care of my clients and client reading. Thanks again everybody for your patience, and without further ado…*
Happy (belated) publication day to Goodbye, Mr. Spalding by Jennifer Robin Barr!
Goodbye, Mr. Spalding
In 1930s Philadelphia, twelve-year-old Jimmy Frank and his best friend Lola live across the street from Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team. Their families and others on the street make extra money by selling tickets to bleachers on their flat rooftops, which have a perfect view of the field. However, falling ticket sales at the park prompt the manager and park owner to decide to build a wall that will block the view. Jimmy and Lola come up with a variety of ways to prevent the wall from being built, knowing that not only will they miss the view, but their families will be impacted from the loss of income. As Jimmy becomes more and more desperate to save their view, his dubious plans create a rift between him and Lola, and he must work to repair their friendship.
Reviewers on Goodbye, Mr. Spalding:
“informative, entertaining, nostalgic, and…humorous. Background information and primary source photos about Athletics personnel, Shibe Park, the bleacher community, and the Spalding Baseball Company help readers to better understand the story. This novel works well as a read-aloud and would be a great addition to the history curriculum.” – School Library Connection, starred review
“Barr carefully constructs a well-paced adventure, involving some real events in a very specific time and place, while making Jimmie’s worries about negotiating that world completely accessible to modern readers. All the characters…are well-developed, even the real Connie Mack and Jimmie Foxx. Quotes from the 1934 Sporting News that head many chapters further illuminate the actual events….” – Kirkus Reviews
“This appealing historical middle-grade novel is perfect for fans of beloved baseball-centered novels like Linda Sue Park’s Keeping Score. Barr knows her baseball history and brings rich detail to mid-1930s Philadelphia…sports fanatics will eat up the appended material. A sweet debut about friendship and the love of the game.” – Booklist
Goodbye, Mr. Spalding is also a Junior Library Guild selection!
I just love this middle grade novel of friendship and baseball (which I talked a bit more about previously in terms of my middle grade mswl) and I hope you will, too!