Strangely enough, The Baseball Card Kid is much less about baseball and baseball cards than the cover art portrays. Even time traveling to 1912 seems likely to connect to some baseball, but it does not.
Even without baseball, Osterweil sets up and executes a very readable and enjoyable action packed mystery. Perhaps his best writing is displayed in the episode aboard the luxury liner Titanic where the characters alter the course of history as the countdown to sideswiping an iceberg approaches.
The time travel gimmick works so well that Time Quest or Time Quest 2 might be a more appropriate title. The title fails and it misleads potential readers, but that can be overcome by talking about the fun and frustration shared by the characters. The time travel is fun, clever, and well planned to engage the reader’s mind well beyond the page. The characters possess the charisma to leap into almost any situation and emerge unscathed as evidenced by their encounter with a Transylvanian vampire.
Add this book to a classroom or library bookshelf with confidence, but know that those searching for only baseball will not find it here.
3 of 5
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