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Sluggers #4: Water, Water Everywhere


Sluggers #4: Water, Water Everywhere

In August 1899, after an illness in Chicago leaves the Travelin’ Nine one player short, Ruby Payne introduces Preacher Wil to the barnstorming team. Because of the dark color of his skin, Preacher Will is not allowed to ride in the same car with the squad on the train from Chicago to Minneapolis.

After arriving at their destination, the team soon discovers that the odds are stacked against them. With the Chancellor pulling strings behind the scenes to prevent them from prevailing and repaying a debt to him, the Travelin’ Nine slug it out against a professional team of “ballists.” At Nicollet Park, the Minneapolis Millers players --- Germany Smith, Jay Andrews, Roger Bresnahan, Jack Mcnefee, Perry Werden, Ed Abbatichio, Walter Wilmot, Wee Willie “Doc” Nance and Kid McNeely --- take the field against the Travelin’ Nine.

Making winning more difficult, the Travelin’ Nine are split over letting Preacher Wil play on their team. As long as they’re divided, strange things happen on the field that put a damper on their performance. But the team has a secret weapon. Ruby (age 9), Griffith (age 11) and Graham (age 7) possess a magical baseball with amazing powers. With each game, the kids better understand how to use the baseball. They also have the ability to see things on the field that others can’t, and one of the Payne children has an extraordinary gift.

The evil Chancellor is out to steal the magic baseball --- and more. With the Chancellor’s men closing in, Ruby, Griffith, Graham and Dog (Preacher Wil’s mutt) are banished from the dugout. After finding a safe place to hide, the children notice a bald eagle soaring overhead. The majestic bird leads them to a man with a long gray beard, and he has a warning for them. But can this stranger be trusted? And is what he tells them true?

New York Times bestselling authors Loren Long and Phil Bildner continue their winning ways with Game #4 in the Sluggers series, which was previously published as Barnstormers. The mystery and suspense build with each novel, and I’m looking forward to the fifth installment, when the Travelin’ Nine barnstorm to my birthplace and the home of my favorite baseball team --- St. Louis, Missouri.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on January 26, 2010

Sluggers #4: Water, Water Everywhere
by Loren Long and Phil Bildner

  • Publication Date: January 26, 2010
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416918906
  • ISBN-13: 9781416918905