Roberto and Me
by Dan Gutman, published 2010
(Book 9 of the Baseball Card Adventures)
“Y’know, I like baseball too,” he said quietly. “I’m a Mets fan. They stink I know…But listen, man, there are other things in life that are more important than baseball.”
This far into the baseball card series of children’s books, I have a sense Gutman himself began to find that kids could be introduced to topics bigger than baseball – such as responsibility for the future of the planet… no small feat! The set up in this children’s book is very much like the others in the series, with time travel back to do some good deed related to a baseball player, in this case Roberto Clemente. Along the way lots of interesting baseball trivia is shared. However, this particular children’s book weaves in the idea of changing the world, first by bringing up the ’60s generation of peace, love, and revolution, then going forward into a dire view of the world if global warming doesn’t change.
I like the themes that Gutman introduces, but it is a bit heavy handed. I don’t know how young readers will take it. The content goes so far afield of baseball, especially at the end, that Gutman is walking a fine line.
Generally, I only review a children’s book if it’s great. This one is a great attempt, but I don’t know if it succeeds or not. We need some kids to read it and let us know how they feel about it. Any young readers out there who want to offer a review?