Fantasy Baseball
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Fantasy Baseball

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Alex Metcalf must be dreaming. What else would explain why he's playing baseball for the Oz Cyclones, with Dorothy as his captain, in the Ever After Baseball Tournament? But Alex isn't dreaming, he's just from the real world. And winning the tournament might be his only chance to get back there, because the champions get a wish granted by the Wizard. Too bad Ever After's m...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2011 by Dial
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This is a tricky book to review. It operates on several levels, and I'm betting people come away from it with different ideas of "what it's about." I bet I could get a good fight going about it at Kidlit Drink Night.

On the surface, it's a romp in the classic world of make believe, magic, and storytelling. With an American vibe and a baseball/boy center.

Then, too, it addresses darker issues of illness/death, in a way a kid can handle. NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DO without making a book an "issue" book....more
Diane Golden
Oct 21, 2011 Diane Golden is currently reading it
Shelves: josie
It is good!It has the big bad wolf,Dorothy,peter rabbit,Alex,toad.Those are the characters.
Alex Metcalf wakes up one day in Ever After where all storybook and fairytale characters live. This alternate world is just beginning a baseball tournament. Alex finds himself on the Oz Cyclones team bus. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz is the pitcher and captain. Toad from Wind in the Williows is the shortstop. Br'er Rabbit plays third. The rest of the team is made up of less famous Oz characters.

Each member on the winning team gets one wish granted by the Wizard. Dorothy is determined to win a s...more
My 9-year-old baseball player son chose this book, and we both thought the cover and the premise looked fantastic. He left B&N with it and read all the way home, and kept reading all evening until he was done. And then, he started crying.

My assignment for the day from my son is to also read it, so we can talk about it when he gets home. You see, no where on the cover, or the back cover copy, do you get the underlying story about a boy who is dying of cancer, who is dreaming all these great,...more
This book is absolutely charming - a delightful fast read that had me smiling ear to ear when I finished it. The premise is a fairly simple one - characters from classic stories are competing in a baseball tournament in Ever After. And the book is somewhat predictable, especially in the latter half. However, it's all so cleverly written that I was totally engrossed. And best of all, an avid reader like myself will have a great time revisiting old friends like Tom Sawyer and Charles Wallace. Best...more
Mason Fabricant
I thought the book was creative because a boy named Alex woke up and he was playing baseball with the characters from the Wizard of Oz and the Three Little Pigs. He was on his favorite baseball field, Ebbets Field. When his name was announced from the loudspeaker, he was smiling and laughing. Alex's team was Dorothy, Tin Man, Toto, Frog and Br'er Rabbit. Alex played first base. In the first inning, Alex was batting he hit a homerun over the fence. The big bad wolf from the Three Little Pigs esca...more
Man, I wanted to love this. Alex wakes up in Ever After and starts playing baseball with the Cyclones - Dorothy, Tik-Tok, Toad, Jack Pumpkinhead...sounding familiar? All the players in the league, and the land, are book characters. I mean, come on, there's Cordelia, with her red braids, talking the whole time she's at bat - to the pitcher, to the catcher, to the umpire, to the first baseman, to herself. (Know her? Hint: She decided to be called Cordelia when Alex said all the players needed nick...more
Dan Shonka
This is a clever story. Gratz does a marvelous job blending traditional fairy-tale characters with baseball. There are plenty of witty lines to make you smile or even laugh out loud. And there's also an aspect of the story that will move your emotions to tears. I think there can be no better endorsement of a story than to hear that it will move you to feel the whole range of emotions.
Despite the fantastical premise (which seemed right up my alley), it took me about a third of the book to really get into the story. Baseball's just not my thing, I guess. But once I was invested in the characters, it all went much smoother, and I could get back to enjoying all the little cameos from books and characters I've loved all my life (I especially loved the brief, unheralded appearance of Tintin and Snowy). The ending was a little neat for my taste, but at the same time, not a traditio...more
I wanted to LOVE this book. Fantasy + Baseball how could I go wrong? I was having fun trying to guess who the storybook characters were, and seeing the how bad the Big Bad wolf could be. Then WHAM, this book is also about a kid dying. I didn't even see it coming. I can't worry about storybook characters disappearing or playing baseball tournaments when there are ports and chemotherapy being discussed. It was too much reality in my fantasy.

I am not a big fan of cancer books, and I certainly don't...more
Lots of people play in fantasy baseball leagues, but not like this. Alex isn't quite sure how he comes to be playing first base on the Oz Cyclones, along with Dorothy, Toad ("The Toad, in Toad of Toad Hall. I'm sure you've heard of me."), a flying monkey, Br'er Rabbit and other "Storybooks", characters from fiction and folklore who live on forever as long as someone still believes in them. Nor does he mean to antagonize the Big Bad Wolf…. Now he’s stuck here unless the Cyclones can...more
Kelly Durkee-erwin
A childrens book but adults will have quite a bit of fun reading along since there are so many "hidden" gems of old books vs. new books in this really clever book about what the characters from storybooks do during baseball season. Very fun read!
This book has a pretty solid plotline - young Alex finds himself in the topsy-turvy world of Ever After, where he's on a baseball team with several children's book characters. Despite his fabulous ball-playing skills, Alex has a huge problem... the Big Bad Wolf is after him.

I can't quite put my finger on why, but I found this book to be a little bit underdone. However, fans of classic children's literature will appreciate all the sly references and phrases from their favorite books.
Carol Crenshaw
Can you imagine playing in a baseball tournament with characters from children's books? Toads, dragons, Pinnochio, Big Bad Wolf, wizards, princesses and many others bring their teams to compete. The problem is they can only play if readers still believe in them. Alex finds himself in this crazy tournament and all he wants to do is go home. It's one crazy team match-up after another. Join Alex in this tournament of a lifetime and find out if he's smart enough to find the way home.
Dana Tuss
It is such a clever book! I immediately want to read it again to see what I missed the first time. And even better? The 8-year-old proclaimed it "awesome!" It was so fun reading it to him and seeing his eyes light up when he "got" a clever plot twist or play on words. By the end he was finishing some sentences since he could anticipate what would happen. I read ahead to see how the sick boy angle played out and I thought it was handled well.
What fun this was to read! A great combination for book lovers and baseball fans. A really great story about the worlds and characters that authors create and children believe in. A lot more fun to read for readers who have read a wide variety of children's storybooks and will know the wide spectrum of characters and worlds that are refered to. As a sort of bonus, there's also a touching side to the story.
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Alex awakes to find himself amid a world of storybook characters. He is on a baseball team with Dorothy, the Tin-man (and others). Various characters make appearances some of which only a limited number of readers will understand. Inventive idea but perhaps will be hard to follow for some young readers.
Dan Poblocki
Feb 27, 2011 Dan Poblocki marked it as to-read
Ooh, I've been hearing about this one for a couple years, when Alan and I were roomates at Camp Barry, our agent's client retreat... SO excited to finally read it! Such a great concept.
A little bit of the anybodies, a little alice, a heap of oz, and a slightly predictable ending... Onlygripe there are 4 outs in the climactic inning ender!
It is a very great book and I'm not much of a fan of sports books. This one though was hard to put down

Wonderful use of storybook characters. Might make some kids want to go read a few classics.
It was really good! Thought it was a boys book at first, but then I realized I loved it! :)
i didnt read it yet but i need the books isbn
Sad but engaging grades 4-6
Dianna Tolentino
Dianna Tolentino marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2014
Megan marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2014
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May 22, 2014
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Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, TN, home of the 1982 World's Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and later, a Master's degree in English education.
In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E's City Confidential, Alan...more
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