Author: Mary Pope Osbourne
Title: Mummies in the Morning
Publication Info: New York : Random House, c1993.
Another Magic Tree House classic. Annie and Jack travel to Ancient Egypt and help a ghost-queen by solving the riddle of hieroglyphics and finding their way through the false passages of a pyramid. This book also demonstrates their different talents very well, Annie the adventurer, and Jack the researcher.
Author: Greg W. Prince
Title: Amazin’ Again: How the 2015 New York Mets Brought the Magic Back to Queens
Publication Info: Sports Publishing (2016)
Previously Read By Same Author: Faith and Fear in Flushing
2015 was a special season for the New York Mets and Mets’ fans, not just because they won the National League pennant, but because of so many unique aspects and players that made it unlike any season in the team’s history. Prince, one-half of the team at the magnificent Faith and Fear in Flushing blog, relives the 2015 season month-by-month, game-by-game, and sometimes even inning-by-inning and pitch-by-pitch, offering his wizened and humorous perspective. While a regular blogger writing about the Mets, make no mistake that this is a book by a journalist or a sports writer, this is a fan’s book. Prince writes about watching games from his seat at Citi Field or on tv and offers many great tidbits of Mets history and the fan’s zeitgeist to embellish the narrative. If there’s anything wrong with this book it’s that it has the same sad ending as the Met’s 2015 season (Prince wisely does not dwell on the World Series). Let’s hope that Prince will have reason to write another book with a happier ending in the near future.
Some combination of appreciation for the Met who wanted to be a Met so bad he wept when comprehending he might be something else and the intoxication we felt for having just gotten Cespedes turned the shirt-receivers their own kind of emotional. When they got a load of Flores in his first at-bat since the trade that wasn’t, they rose and applauded. Thank you, Wilmer. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. This sort of gratitude isn’t readily associated with the Mets fan species, but standing ovations now followed Wilmer Flores around like a loyal pup. He couldn’t step into the batter’s box or approach a ground ball without his every movement causing a commendatory commotion. Driving Juan Uribe home with the first run of the night in the fourth made him only more beloved.
Four National relievers. Three Met runs. One hellacious fist pump out of Wright after he crossed the plate. Yes, it seemed to shout, this is what all that stretching and exercising the back was for … this is what I signed that long-term deal for … this is what it’s all frigging about. Even when filling David Wright’s thought bubble, I can’t imagine The Captain cursing.
If you came to the Mets later in life—by marriage, by immigration, by one day looking up at the television and deciding that team on the screen was somehow for you—then your elation is every bit as earned as mine. The Mets may extract blood, sweat and tears from you, but you don’t have to fill out a form to prove your loyalty (they tried that with the “True New Yorker” marketing gambit of 2014 and it backfired blazingly). Adult conversions are welcome. They’re admirable. We know you had your choice of baseball teams and we thank you for flying with us.
Recommended books: Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman, If at First by Keith Hernandez and Mike Bryan, Faithful by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King
Author: Mary Pope Osbourne
Title: Pirates Past Noon
Publication Info: New York : Random House, c1994.
Swashbuckling adventure awaits Annie and Jack as the magic tree house takes them to an island, and they have to help pirates find a treasure. I love pirates, but this is a weak story in the series, albeit still entertaining. It also introduces Morgan in a section at the end that feels a bit tacked on. Apparently this was supposed to be the last book in the series, but I’m glad that they didn’t stop there!
Author: Libba Bray
Title: The Diviners
Narratorr: January LaVoy
Publication Info: Listening Library (2012)
Evie, an outspoken youngster from Ohio is sent away be her family to live with a strange uncle in Jazz Age New York City and ends up helping him try to solve a series of occultist murders. An outlandish premise, but we also learn that Evie is one of many characters with extrasensory powers (the titular “Diviners”) and that there’s a man who is part machine, so just roll with it. The characters are richly defined and help hold together a story that’s a little like Ghostbusters, but 60 years earlier. The narration of January LaVoy captures the carefree spirit and hidden genius of Evie O’Neill and her comrades in this historical paranormal horror mystery.
Recommended books: Strivers Row by Kevin Baker, The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch, and The Alienist by Caleb Carr