Shoeless Joe & Me by Dan Gutman

Date reviewed: 4/5/04                IL 9-12                  author’s website with excerpts and teacher guides

Summary: Another in sports time travel series by Gutman. Joe Stoshak travels back in time with the help of a baseball card – this time it’s to 1919 and the Black Sox scandal of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Stoshak wants to travel back for 2 reasons: 1 – to keep Joe from being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and 2 – to take a picture of his mother’s twin aunt and uncle (the uncle died of influenza). Gripping in the portrayal of the mafia-type threatening behavior from the bad guys, otherwise a simplistic but enjoyable story.

Personal Reaction: Good story, but same-old same-old. Kids who read Gutman will continue to read Gutman.

Points for discussion with children:  baseball, corruption/temptation/ethics – correlation with any current events?, sports memorabilia

Possible classroom uses: This may be an enjoyable read aloud, but not correlated to the curriculum unless you were studying that era or perhaps beginning a unit on sports math.

Connections to other books? Any other of Gutman’s baseball card adventure series will do. Matt Christopher will also be a good author choice.

Realia: baseball cleats, bat, ball, mitt, etc.; baseball cards; photographs from era and Shoeless Joe Jackson; empty medication boxes/bottles for flu meds; photograph of fraternal or identical twins from era

Food items connected to story: hot dog, popcorn, *what else did he have in his pockets?

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By moviesofthemind Posted in sports Tagged , , ,

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