Much Ado About Baseball

By Rajani LaRocca
Year Published: 2021

Little Bee Books

Much Ado About Baseball

Twelve-year-old Trish can solve tough math problems and throw a mean fastball. But because of her mom’s new job, she’s now facing a summer trying to make friends in a new town. That isn’t easy, and her mom is too busy to notice how miserable Trish is. At her first baseball practice, Trish realizes one of her teammates is Ben, the sixth-grade math prodigy she beat in the spring Math Puzzler Championships. Everyone around them thinks that with their shared love of math and baseball, it’s only logical that they’ll become friends, but Ben makes it clear he still hasn’t gotten over losing and can’t stand her.

Ben hasn’t played baseball in two years, and he doesn’t want to play now—but he has to, thanks to losing a bet with his best friend. Once Ben realizes Trish is on the team, he knows he can’t quit and be embarrassed by her again. To make matters worse, their team is terrible.

Then both kids meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family’s store, which sells unusual snacks that’ll make them better ballplayers. They’re dubious, but willing to try almost anything to help their team.

When booklets of mysterious math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrive in Trish and Ben’s mailboxes, they each start solving the puzzles, first on their own and then together, and find themselves becoming closer. And suddenly, their baseball team becomes unstoppable. Trish and Ben are happy to keep riding the wave of good luck . . . until they get to a puzzle they can’t solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the “ultimate answer,” or will they strike out when it counts the most?

Told in alternating voices, this companion to Midsummer’s Mayhem is a fresh take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Book description from publisher.

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