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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2009 > May - August > Authors to Participate in Book Signings at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum During Little League Baseball World Series

Authors to Participate in Book Signings at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum During Little League Baseball World Series

Authors to Participate in Book Signings at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum During Little League Baseball World Series

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Several authors, including four who have earned national writing awards, will visit the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and conduct book signings during the during the 63rd Little League Baseball World Series, Aug. 21-30.

Authors are scheduled at the museum throughout the week. The museum - 525 Route 15 Highway, South Williamsport - is located next to the Little League International Administration Building.

Below is an overview of the book titles and authors:

“Water, Water Everywhere”
Phil Bildner, author of the “Sluggers” series formerly known as “Barnstormers” series, will make his second appearance at the museum. Last here in 2007, Mr. Bildner and Loren Long have published their fourth book, “Water, Water Everywhere.”

The New York Times-bestselling series is about three children, a magic baseball and a mystery. In this episode about Milwaukee, Minn., the Travelin’ Nine baseball team is barnstorming its way across the United States in 1899 to earn money to pay the Payne family’s debt.

The Payne children, Griffith, Ruby and Graham, and the Travelin’ Nine need to be careful or they may find themselves in deep water in the Land of a Thousand Lakes.

Mr. Long explained that the name of the series was changed because, “we’ve realized that it does not immediately say that this series is about baseball. In fact, there were many different types of barnstormers in American History other than baseball players. For this reason, we are changing the name to “Sluggers,” a more easily identifiable baseball term.” Mr. Long is illustrator for the series.

“Sluggers” is geared for readers between the ages of 8 and 12.

Mr. Bildner, a lawyer turned middle school teacher turned author, received his Master’s degree in Education from Long Island University in New York. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Baltimore (Md.) and his juris doctorate from the New York University School of Law.

“Sixth Inning” and “Mighty Casey”
James Preller, author of the award-winning “Sixth Inning” and the newly-released “Mighty Casey,” will deliver readings in addition to signing his books.

 “Mighty Casey” mimics the epic poem “Casey at Bat” but is recast for the Tee Ball set with much hilarity and this time, Casey comes out a winner.

After one too many losses, Casey Jenkins decides his team has had enough. Despite being down 5-0 in the first inning, and despite the fact that half the team is distracted with climbing a tree or falling asleep, the Dogs win.

The comic illustrations, full of energy and movement as the players engage in activities, are by Matthew Cordell. Mr. Cordell also illustrated “Toby and the Snowflakes,” written by his wife, Julie Halpern, and “Righty and Lefty,” authored by Rachel Vail.

“Mighty Casey” is recommended reading by Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and School Library Journal.

“Sixth Inning” involves a Little League team playing its championship game and two best friends whose bond is put to the test. The baseball-loving boys are playing the biggest game of their lives. With acrobatic catches, costly errors, clutch hits, dramatic whiffs, the game is full of action. But as the plot unfolds, Sam and Mike, best friends, are trying to come to terms with Sam’s newly diagnosed cancer. The baseball diamond becomes the ultimate testing ground of their remarkable friendship as they strive to find a way to both come out winners.

Awards for “Sixth Inning” include the American Library Association Notable Children’s Books; Bank Street Children’s Book of the Year; Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Master List, among others. It targets youngsters between the ages of 9 and 14.

Mr. Preller is the author of “Bystander,” a story about a seventh grade boy who must choose between being a witness to bullying, or possibly becoming a victim. He also is the author of the popular “Jigsaw Jones” mystery series, which has sold more than 10 million copies (of 32 titles) since 1998. In addition to writing full-time, he plays in a men’s hardball league and coaches Little League in Delmar, N.Y.

“Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems”
Marjorie Maddox, author of “Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems,” is a Williamsport resident and great-niece of baseball’s Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers manager who signed Jackie Robinson to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  In her book of short poems, Mrs. Maddox, the mother of two Little Leaguers, deconstructs the game of baseball and writes about each element. It is appropriate for children 8 to 12 years old.

“Baseball is a game of fine points and grand gestures, small blunders and bold accomplishments … the hook slide into second, the humble bunt, the unexpected wild pitch, the bases-loaded home run,” Mrs. Maddox said. She pays tribute to these and other details that make the national pastime an enduring and engaging sport for players and fans alike. Surprising wordplay and keen images offer a unique perspective of the game.

Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven (Pa.) University, Mrs. Maddox has earned numerous awards for her writing. Included in her latest edition, are: “The Pitch,” “The Strike Zone,” “The Sweet Spot,” “Balk,” “Walk,” “Relief Pitcher,” “Grounder,” and “Grand Slam.” The black and white illustrations are by John Sandford.

“100 Sporting Events You Must See Live”
The Little League Baseball World Series is among those listed in “100 Sporting Events You Must See Live: An Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime” by Robert Tuchman.

Mr. Tuchman’s insider information includes detailed history about each venue as well as suggestions to help make a pilgrimage successful. Although readers may disagree with which is his No. 1 choice, they will enjoy both reading the book and using it as a resource.

Mr. Tuchman is Founder and President of the New York-based TSE Sports & Entertainment, a leader in sports and entertainment promotion. He is a contributing writer for ESPN.com and has been featured in other publications including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times. He has appeared on CNN, BET and on the “CBS Morning News.”

“Hey Batta Batta Swing”
“Hey Batta Batta Swing: The Wild Old Days of Baseball,” a funny and fascinating book about historical baseball trivia, is written by James Charlton and Sally Cook and illustrated by Ross McDonald. It is for readers between the ages of 6 and 10.

The book received the Pennsylvania Reader’s Choice Award and the Parent’s Choice Award Silver Medal. It was nominated for a Garden State (New Jersey) Book Award.

In it discover how Babe Ruth got his nickname and why Brooklyn’s team was called the Dodgers. It is a fascinating journey of interesting facts from the beginnings of baseball through present day.
Mr. Charlton is the Publications Director for the Society for American Baseball Research, a founding Editor of the Pushcart Prize, and a judge of the Casey Award, which is given annually to the best baseball book. He has written numerous books about baseball, and lives in New York City.

“Sandlot Summit”
Readers seeking comic relief will be interested in “Sandlot Summit,” an entertaining story by Rick Fishman in which the outcome of a baseball game is a way to avoid World War III.

The discovery that the wrong coach and his team were recruited to save the United States adds to the already tense situation.

“A playful, well-written and imaginative, though at times corny, story for young adults ends with a life-affirming message and the sweet hope of peace for all nations,” Kirkus Discoveries said in its review. “Although devoid of plausibility, the patriotic, engaging novel will be a home run for readers of all ages.”

 “Sandlot Summit” is recommended for boys and girls in grades five through eight. Younger readers will appreciate the glossary included with the book.

A resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Fishman loves baseball and spent more than a decade coaching youth teams in Lyndhurst, Ohio. He earned a spot in the “Guinness Book of World Records” when he painted the world’s largest map on the playground of the elementary school where his children attended.

An accountant by trade, Mr. Fishman recently took some time off for a brief but rewarding adventure as a high school mathematics teacher.

The book signing schedule is provided below.

  • Marjorie Maddox - “Rules of the Game” – Friday, Aug. 21: 2-5 p.m. and 6 -7 p.m. Friday; Saturday, Aug, 22: 10 a.m.-to-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-7 p.m.
  • James Preller - “Mighty Casey” and “Six Innings” – Sunday, Aug. 23: noon-1 p.m.; 2-3 p.m.; 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • Robert Tuchman - “The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live” – Monday, Aug. 24: 10 a.m.-to-1:30 p.m.; 3-to-7 p.m.
  • Jim Charlton - “Hey Batta, Batta Swing” – Tuesday, Aug, 25: 4-7 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug. 26: 10 a.m.-to-2 p.m.
  • Rick Fishman - “Sandlot Summit” – Thursday, Aug. 27: 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 28: 9 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m.; and 5-6 p.m.
  • Phil Bildner - “Water, Water Everywhere” – Saturday, Aug. 29: 10 a.m.-noon; 12:30 to 4 p.m.