Strike Three You’re Dead
By Josh Berk
New York: Yearling Book, 2013.
Pages 250. Grades 4-6 RL 5.1
This is a great new baseball mystery series that is the logical next step for Matt Christopher sport readers. This book has a nice blend of eccentric baseball with murder!
Lenny Norbeck loves baseball, doesn’t play the sport (anymore) but is a die-hard Phillies fan. He and his two best friends, Mike and the Other Mike, spend a lot of time watching the Phillies on TV. When watching one of the games the Phillies announce the Armchair Announcers Contest. This is the perfect contest for Lenny to enter as he was does a great “color commentary” while watching all the games and one of the Mikes is whiz at making movies.
So they set forth on entering the contest, win it and while Lenny is waiting for his chance to announce one inning of the game, which was the prize, a star, nineteen year old pitcher from the minor leagues gets brought up to pitch. Lenny gets to meet this up and coming pitcher before the game and then he has to wait for 6th inning for his big break into sport announcing. But 6th inning never comes because R.J. Weathers; who is throwing a terrible first inning dies on the pitcher’s mound.
This ends the game, but for Lenny and the Mikes it begins the mystery! Who would do such a thing as to kill a nineteen year old? Everyone thinks the guy suffered a heart attack but not this trio! A cast of suspects line-up—everyone from irate fans to illegal immigrants. This trio teams up for a dynamic man hunt which will keep you turning pages and chuckling along the way. Don’t miss this wacky middle-school mystery.