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Barnstormers: Tales of the Travelin’ Nine – Game 2

Review

Barnstormers: Tales of the Travelin’ Nine – Game 2

When Ruby Payne and her older brother Griffith stand on the deck of the steamer Meriwether Lewis and take a look at Uncle Owen’s letter, they know danger lies ahead. His tattered note warns “Beware the Chancellor,” and Griffith sees what appears to be blood stains. They fear for Uncle Owen’s safety after reading even worse news about the Chancellor: “He mustn’t learn of the baseball.”

Ruby and Griffith know about the legend of the Chancellor, a wealthy and powerful man who supposedly possesses evil powers. They also remember the earlier warning they received from their Uncle Owen on the night of their father’s funeral: “Be together, Always. Great danger lies ahead, an unspeakable kind. Things will speak to you in different ways. And, you mustn’t tell a soul.”

In Louisville, Ruby, Griffith and Graham learn some history, geography and a little more about the game of baseball. They find out why Louisville is called the River City and how Kentucky came to be known as the Bluegrass State. They meet J. F. Hellerich, creator of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Yet puzzling things occur to Ruby when she visits Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

To understand the strange happenings, Ruby records in a journal what she sees, hears and thinks. After reading it, Ruby and her brothers begin to understand more about the power --- and the danger --- of the magic baseball. When Ruby, Griffith and Graham band together and hold the baseball, strange and wonderful things happen on the baseball field. The ghosts of graceful and mighty thoroughbred horses graze among the players, unseen by the cheering crowd. Only Ruby, Griffith, Graham and the Travelin’ Nine are aware of the horses’ presence --- and witness their power.

In Louisville, Ruby also gets to know more about the Travelin’ Nine players, especially the silent Scribe, who is “the largest human being Ruby had ever seen.” And Griffith understands, even more than his mother, about the danger and risks facing their family, especially to Graham.

The lovely illustrations, the convenient and easy-to-understand definitions about historic baseball terms and the intriguing storyline complement this enjoyable sequel. Even if your favorite team didn’t make it to the World Series this year, Game 2 of the Barnstormers series will give baseball lovers of all ages something to cheer about.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on February 24, 2009

Barnstormers: Tales of the Travelin’ Nine – Game 2
by Loren Long and Phil Bildner

  • Publication Date: February 24, 2009
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416918884
  • ISBN-13: 9781416918882