Set in Philadelphia during the Great Depression, this middle-grade historical novel tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his best friend as they attempt to stop a wall from being built at Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics, that would block the view of the baseball field from their rooftops.
In 1930s Philadelphia, twelve-year-old Jimmy Frank and his best friend Lola live across the street from Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team. Their families and others on the street make extra money by selling tickets to bleachers on their flat rooftops, which have a perfect view of the field. However, falling ticket sales at the park prompt the manager and park owner to decide to build a wall that will block the view. Jimmy and Lola come up with a variety of ways to prevent the wall from being built, knowing that not only will they miss the view, but their families will be impacted from the loss of income. As Jimmy becomes more and more desperate to save their view, his dubious plans create a rift between him and Lola, and he must work to repair their friendship.
About the Author
Jennifer Robin Barr is the author of two how-to books for adults. Goodbye, Mr. Spalding is her debut middle-grade novel. She is drawn to writing about little-known nuggets of history. She lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Visit her at jenniferrobinbarr.com.
*“(I)nformative, entertaining, nostalgic, and…humorous. Background information and primary source photos about Athletics personnel, Shibe Park, the bleacher community, and the Spalding Baseball Company help readers to better understand the story. This novel works well as a read-aloud and would be a great addition to the history curriculum.” School Library Connection, starred review
“This appealing historical middle-grade novel is perfect for fans of beloved baseball-centered novels like Linda Sue Park’s Keeping Score. Barr knows her baseball history and brings rich detail to mid-1930s Philadelphia…sports fanatics will eat up the appended material. A sweet debut about friendship and the love of the game.” — Booklist
“Barr carefully constructs a well-paced adventure…completely accessible to modern readers. All the characters…are well-developed…(and) (q)uotes from the 1934 Sporting News…further illuminate the actual events. Life lessons, baseball, and good friends; it's all here.” - Kirkus Reviews