Right fielder Alfie Maples is mystified by the newest member of the Peach Street Mudders. As far as Alfie can see, Roberti Frantelli can barely catch a ball or hit. Then Coach Parker asks Alfie to show the newcomer the ropes. Alfie is flattered and teaches Roberti all he can -- but begins to suspect that the coach plans to start Roberti in his position in the next game! Who is this strange new player, and can Alfie continue to help him play his best?
Gr 2-3?Alfie Maples is puzzled when he sees that the newest member of the Peach Street Mudders baseball team cannot catch or hit the ball very well. He is even more suspicious when the coach asks him to help Roberti Frantelli learn the ropes. Because Alfie is not a star player, he is worried that the coach will replace him with Roberti, whom he has taught everything he knows. Again, Christopher has made his major character a boy with whom young readers can empathize. Woven within the plot are subtle pointers on how to play the game. Pen-and-ink sketches illustrate the action. It's unfortunate that the publisher has again printed the annoying ad on the back cover enticing readers to join the Matt Christopher Fan Club by sending a dollar with no mention of what they'll get in return. That aside, readers will enjoy this story?and it's most unlikely that they'll guess the ending that explains why Roberti is on the team.?Blair Christolon, Prince William Library, Manassas, VA
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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
March 31, 2000
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