Saturday, August 22, 2020

⚾️Ballpark Mysteries Super Special #3: Subway Series Surprise by David A. Kelly, illustrated by Mark Meyers

The yearly Subway Series between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets may have been cancelled once again for the 2020 season, but young baseball fans can still enjoy some Subway Series excitement, thanks to David A. Kelly's Ballpark Mysteries Super Special #3: Subway Series Surprise. 

It all begins one Friday afternoon at Brooklyn's  Cyclone Stadium just off the Coney Island boardwalk. The Cyclones are a minor league team and during the seventh inning stretch, there's going to be a hot dog eating contest between Met fans and Yankee fans. And cousins Mike Walsh and Kate Hopkins are the lucky kids who get to help out. After helping out, they are given a hot dog paid for by a mysterious fan - one wearing a Mets jersey AND a Yankee hat, who left a puzzle on their napkin for them to figure out.  

Later, when Kate's mom picks them up, they are off to Mets stadium in Queens, where the first game of the Series is scheduled. Mrs. Hopkins, a sports reporter, tells them that someone has broken into the press box there. Then they discover that the only thing taken are Mrs. Hopkins' research notes. And it seems that the person who was last seen leaving the press box was wearing a Mets jersey and a Yankee hat. But the one person who fits that description is Rocco Sampson, the Mets Apple Manager, who has invited Kate and Mike to visit him if they are around for game 3. And he seems to have an airtight reason for mixing his teams, after all, it is the Subway Series.

But when Kate and Mike overhear someone they recognize talking on a cell phone in Grand Central Station's Whispering Gallery, suddenly all the pieces seem to fall into place so they can figure out who took the research notes, but not why? Boy, are they in for a surprise!

Subway Series Surprise is really a fun book for young readers. It has everything that makes a book exciting. There's a mystery, lots of baseball playing, some interesting baseball history, and a few New York City fun facts - like why Mike and Kate could hear a conversation even though they weren't near the speakers. At the back of the book, fans will find even more information about the New York Yankees and New York Mets, as well as the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station. 

Kelly really knows how to craft a book so that is ideal for the target age. The vocabulary is perfect for them, the story isn't so complicated that they got lost or bored, and the characters are believable and relatable.  

I read this to some 6- and 7-year-olds. Most of them aren't baseball fans yet, but have parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and older cousins who are so I know it's just a matter of time. And what could be more complimentary then to have a young reader ask for more books in a series, which is just what happened. 

This book is recommended for readers age 8+
This book was purchased for my personal library

I come from a family that has a serious Mets and Yankees rivalry going on, so I know what a disappointment it is for them to have to forfeit the Subway Series twice in one summer. 

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