An enjoyable baseball story that young fans will follow all the way to the bottom of the ninth.


From the Lenny & the Mikes series , Vol. 1

Twelve-year-old Lenny Norbeck thought the contest to win a chance to broadcast one inning of a Phillies game would be fun. But it is murder. Literally.

The Armchair Announcer contest should have been a dream come true for Lenny. He’s “the boy with the golden voice,” who’s always narrating his life: “And Lenny Norbeck puts ANOTHER piece of pepperoni into his mouth. The crowd goes wild! Ahhhh-ahhhh-ahhh!” Maybe becoming a baseball announcer would be his thing. He’s not especially smart or athletic or handsome, but he can do this. And he does. He wins the contest, and on July 29th, he’s in the announcer’s booth. But it all goes downhill quickly. The Phillies’ pitcher collapses on the mound and dies, and Lenny never gets to do any announcing. He does have a mystery to solve, though. Was it a heart attack? Murder? Though the story is too scattered and, at times, implausible to be an effectively developed mystery, it is a fast-paced tale, an ode to the pleasures of the game—the dreams, the disappointments, and the trials and tribulations of being a fan.

An enjoyable baseball story that young fans will follow all the way to the bottom of the ninth. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87008-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.


From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

A tropical action-filled adventure with heart.


A crash-landing in the Amazon leaves four children stranded in the deep jungle.

They are Fred, a tall, white English boy, biracial Brazilian siblings Lila and 5-year-old Max, and a pale, white English girl, Constantia. Together they search for shelter and forage for edible fruits and larva. When Fred stumbles upon an old map, they decide to follow it to the X. In their handmade raft the crew travels down the river, through murky and clear waters, until they rediscover a lost city. Among the ruins they meet a mysterious man. He refuses to give his name, but will he refuse to help them get home? Rundell breathes character into the Amazon rain forest. The sounds, smells, flora, and fauna are vivid and tangible in the mind. The children are not as colorful, unfortunately. Fred, Lila, and Con give voice to their fears at every step, from climbing trees to facing down wild animals. Max has brief moments of wisdom in between bouts of tears or unbridled joy. The unnamed explorer does add some vibrancy to the book and commands attention despite the lush backdrop. His commentary on the effects of European imperialism is commendable although brief.

A tropical action-filled adventure with heart. (Adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1945-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet