Much Ado About Baseball

by Rajani Larocca (Author)

Much Ado About Baseball
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

In this companion novel to Midsummer's Mayhem, math and baseball combine with savory snacks to cause confusion and calamity in the town of Comity.

Twelve-year-old Trish can solve tough math problems and throw a mean fastball. But because of her mom's new job, she's now facing a summer trying to make friends all over again in a new town. That isn't an easy thing to do, and her mom is too busy to notice how miserable she is. But at her first baseball practice, Trish realizes one of her teammates is Ben, the sixth-grade math prodigy she beat in the spring Math Puzzler Championships. Everyone around them seems to think that with their math talent and love of baseball, it's only logical that Trish and Ben become friends, but Ben makes it clear he still hasn't gotten over that loss and can't stand her. To make matters worse, their team can't win a single game. But then they meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family's store, which sells unusual snacks that will make them better ballplayers. Trish is dubious, but she's willing to try almost anything to help the team.

When a mysterious booklet of math puzzles claiming to reveal the "ultimate answer" arrives in her mailbox, Trish and Ben start to get closer and solve the puzzles together. Ben starts getting hits, and their team becomes unstoppable. Trish is happy to keep riding the wave of good luck . . . until they get to a puzzle they can't solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the answer to this ultimate puzzle, or will they strike out when it counts the most?


Starred Review

A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem. (Fantasy. 8-12).

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Magic is afoot once again in Comity, MA, in this stand-alone companion novel to LaRocca's Midsummer's Mayhem. After moving to Comity, 12-year-old Trish Das worries about being accepted as the only girl on her baseball team. Making matters worse, Trish's math puzzle competition rival Ben Messina plays on the same team. Insecure about his baseball skills and resentful of Trish's most recent math competition victory, Ben clashes with her while his best friend, Abhi, schemes to get the two to become friends (à la Much Ado About Nothing). In this book told in alternating perspectives, Trish and Ben stumble across copies of a mysterious book called The Mathematics of the Wild, whose odd math puzzles seem to magically help the team and bring the former rivals together. But when the books disappear just before the championship game, Abhi's life is endangered and they must seek answers in Comity's enchanted woods. Fans of Midsummer's Mayhem will delight in a return to the richly developed setting of Comity and its familiar quirky characters. A relatable sports plot about rivalry, teamwork, and forgiveness is elevated by lyrical descriptive writing and the unique intersection of mathematics and nature in the book's puzzles, which readers will be eager to solve. Trish is Indian American, and Ben is white. VERDICT This ambitious, layered story pulls together sports, Shakespeare, and mathematics while conveying a sweet, accessible message of the value of friendship and forgiveness. Recommended for all collections; hand to fans of Stacy McAnulty's The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl or Erin Yun's Pippa Park Raises Her Game.-Elizabeth Giles, Kansas City P. L., MO.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Rajani Larocca
Rajani LaRocca es médica y amante de los libros y de la buena comida. Nació en India, se crio en
Kentucky y actualmente vive en el área de Boston. Su primera novela para niños de 8 a 12 años, Midsummer's Mayhem, es una mezcla de Sueño de una noche de verano con cocina competitiva, enfocada en la cultura indoamericana.

Rajani LaRocca is a book lover, doctor, and foodie who was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area. Her debut middle-grade novel, Midsummer's Mayhem, is an Indian American middle-grade mashup of A Midsummer Night's Dream and competitive baking.

Chaaya Prabhat es diseñadora gráfica, ilustradora y rotuladora.
Obtuvo su maestría en diseño gráfico en Savannah College of Art and
Design. Vive y trabaja en Chennai, India.

Chaaya Prabhat is a graphic designer, illustrator and lettering artist. She holds an MA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Chennai, India.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2021

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