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Fantasy Baseball

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  33 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 Books
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good I want Gratz to make a sequel
Diane Golden
Oct 21, 2011 is currently reading it
Shelves: josie
It is good!It has the big bad wolf,Dorothy,peter rabbit,Alex,toad.Those are the characters.
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I discovered this book a few year's ago when the author, Alan Gratz, was at Cincinnati's "Books by the Banks" events. This was my first opportunity to sit down and read it, but I clearly recall the excitement in the author's voice as he described to me what it was all about. It is definitely a creative story, and I can see enthusiastic readers and baseball fans alike enjoying all of the imaginative elements of it.

Alex Metcalf wakes up one day in a world that is very unfamiliar to him. He is on a
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This wasn't one of my favorite Alan Gratz books, but will certainly appeal to some of my middle school readers...especially ones who like the intersection of literature and baseball (though the sheer number of literary characters in the book was a bit more than I needed). The underlying "story within this story" is very sad and once I figured out what was actually going on, it did make me want to finish reading so I could see how things ended for Alex.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
A cute book with adventure, baseball and host of literary characters (some thinly disguised for copyright purposes).
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5th-6th, fantasy, juvenile
When Alex realizes that he's on a bus next to a giant frog and a life-size rag doll, he's pretty sure he's dreaming. When he finds out that he's on the Oz Cyclones baseball team on their way to the Ever After tournament with Dorothy and company, he decides that this is an AWESOME dream. The Cyclones are underdogs, but they're determined to win the big prize - a wish granted by the Wizard of Oz himself. But even as he's enjoying inspiring his team, playing amazingly well, and advancing in the tou ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: youth, fantasy
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
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Mason Fabricant
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-school, j-fic
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
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
Carol Crenshaw
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Dana Tuss
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dan Shonka
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Kelly Durkee-erwin
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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!
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
read it with my 13 year old for his summer reading project. It had a few moments that were nice, but it was mostly depressing. It was also quite heavy with baseball jargon, which is understandable but if you don't know much about baseball, it's confusing and boring.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wonderful use of storybook characters. Might make some kids want to go read a few classics.
i didnt read it yet but i need the books isbn
Rachel Nelson
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was really good! Thought it was a boys book at first, but then I realized I loved it! :)
Josh Newhouse
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-reads-11-12
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!
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports-books
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

Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
There are a lot of things to really like about this book and it made me curious about the author's other work. I found it just too sad and adult for a children's book.
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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