Ballpark Mysteries #13: The Capital Catch (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-05 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" It fun to have a new addition to this series in baseball season. Baseball fans like reading about their favorite team's traditions. " said.

"Ballpark: Washington Nationals

Sleuthing duo Mike and Kate hit my original hometown of Washington D.C. But I'm not a Nationals fan since the team did not exist when I was young and forming sports teams' allegiances (hence I'm an Orioles fan). So while I have ties to this city, unlike most of the other books, I don't have any ties to the team. Which means I straddle the line of familiarity with its contents.

Right off the bat, the novel is striking for having a Hispanic president of the United States in President Diaz. This is pretty cool to include a book for kids. It highlights the diversity of our country, especially given the reality of 43 out of 44 presidents being white males. Of course, David A. Kelly isn't likely going for any real political statement here, and the story never makes a point of overstating the president's ethnicity.

The culprit and his motivation actually provide a good mirror for political life. It's all totally believable. Although why it affects Chip Diaz (the president's brother, who plays catcher for the Nationals) so badly is a little bit of a mystery. I can't recall why he is so concerned about his stuff getting stolen and thinking he'll be in trouble for it.

As usual, Mike and Kate manage to see several sites around the city. The main two highlights are the White House and Lincoln Memorial. Given the plethora of landmarks in D.C. it makes sense to focus on one or two instead of attempting a whirlwind tour of them all. I was wondering if I would notice inconsistencies with the author's description of D.C. but it isn't detailed enough to contain mistakes and I'm not nearly familiar enough to catch any if there were. We'll see about Baltimore when he gets around to writing that entry in the series.

My four year old son enjoyed the presidents' race the most, I think. He wasn't as involved in the mystery this time. And usually he begs me to keep reading far beyond bedtime, but this one he was OK with a couple chapters a night. It actually took us longer than normal to finish, which also likely lessened its impact.

The dugout notes were the most mixed bag out of the 13 books so far. Partially that's due to the lack of history for the Nationals franchise; as one of the notes goes over, Washington has lost its team twice before (originally moved to become the Twins, replacement moved to become the Rangers). The only landmark really covered is the Lincoln Memorial, but to be fair there's so many monuments and landmarks in D.C. it would be impossible to hit them all.
" said.

" The author seems to actually know a lot about baseball. " said.

" I really love this series! This mystery ties the White House to the Washington Nationals.I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves baseball, and not just kids! The stories are all around 100 pages and the author includes fun facts about the ballpark (that the story is about) and / or the city where the team is based. " said.

"My kids and I all love David A Kelley's Ball Park Mysteries series. This newest installment is exactly 100 pages long and fun for kids of all ages. Mike and Kate are in Washington to see the Nationals play the Diamondbacks and have to help catch a thief before its too late. In the meantime, they see all the monuments in the nation's capitol and learn about its history. Depending on a kid's reading level, this book should not take much more than an hour to read. We are eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. 3.5 stars " said.

June 2018 New Book:

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