Gr 4-7-"Life isn't always fair," the team's sponsor tells 13-year-old Joe "Stosh" Stoshack after an umpire errs in calling him out during the Louisville Little League Championship. To reinforce his message, Flip tells the boy about the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, when gamblers allegedly paid Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other members of the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series. They were expelled from baseball for life, but Flip contends that the illiterate Jackson was innocent. What Flip doesn't know is that Stosh can time travel into the past via old baseball cards. He goes back to 1919 to try to save Shoeless Joe and meets him shortly before the fateful payoff is about to be made. The criminals are out to make sure that nothing interferes with their profits and are willing to kill the boy if necessary. Antique photographs, baseball cards, and news clippings add to the authentic representation of the time. Action is intense and exciting, both on and off the baseball field, and there are touches of humor when Stosh mixes up his own era with 1919. The story evokes strong sympathy for Jackson, and an endnote suggests that readers write to the Baseball Hall of Fame in support of his induction. The fourth in a series, this novel is an intriguing melding of sports history and science fiction that should be a hit with middle-school readers.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.