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Reviewed by Dr. Jordan Alexander for Readers' Favorite
Baseball Around the World by Chris Singleton and Dean Burrell hits a home run for fans and enthusiasts of the game. Focusing on a dozen different countries, the colorfully set-out book is packed full of interesting statistics about notable teams, festive food choices for fans, and a timeline of key milestones for the sport’s development in each country. With lots of photos, graphics, and pop-out boxes, it is easy for readers to jump to specific areas of interest. You can home in on the history, fast facts, or ‘did you know’ sections. You can find a who’s who of players, mini maps to show team locations in each country, and listings of major stadiums. Singleton and Burrell are writing for children aged seven to eleven, but adults that love the game as much as I do will thoroughly enjoy learning many new and interesting facts.
I enjoyed learning about women’s involvement in the game, why speaking Spanish is essential for team managers, and how the game arrived Down Under. The multicultural view offered in Baseball Around the World helps readers imagine what it might be like to watch or play the game in different nations. You might eat hot dogs in the stands in the United States, while in Italy you’ll likely be sipping espresso, eating panini sandwiches, and enjoying gelato. The book concludes with an interesting history of Little League and how twenty-eight countries so far have participated in its World Series.
Teachers will love Baseball Around the World as an engaging, easy-to-digest resource for students to make country comparisons. The book offers an encyclopedia-style reference for learners to effectively examine countries, learn about how place influences the sport, and also touches on issues of politics, gender, and diversity. Despite the differences in baseball’s development over the years in different countries, Singleton and Burrell also emphasize the shared heart of the game. “One of the great things about the game is that it shows people how we are all equal.” Baseball Around the World is a well-presented, informative look at how the love of the game can unify us all, no matter where on the planet we call home.