Gr 4-7--Middle-schooler Cody, new in Baltimore, loves all sports, particularly baseball, and he's good at them despite the fact that he's a bit overweight (he prefers the term "burly"). He uses humor to make people like him, which works for the most part but not with bully Dante, who loses his third-base starting position to Cody. There's a mystery to solve and plenty of exciting baseball action as the team plays for an undefeated season and the championship. The various elements work well together to create a fast-moving story, and the characterizations of the parents and coach are great. These adults are supportive and helpful, giving good advice and practical lessons. The coach really has no ego. His philosophy: "Please don't let me screw this up." Another well-developed character is Jessica, Cody's athletic neighbor, who becomes his good friend and defender. She is smart and can hold her own against the boys in a baseball story. Ripkin and Cowherd have created a definite winner for anyone with the slightest interest in baseball, sports in general, those adjusting to a new city or school, being overweight in middle school, or just wanting to be entertained by a good story.--Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI[Page 110]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.