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Book Review: Babe and Me - Dan Gutman

Book Review

Babe and Me (A Baseball Card Adventure) by Dan Gutman (HarperTrophy, 2000).

Ages 11-15

In Dan Gutman's Baseball Card Adventures, young Joe Shostack has a unique "gift" - when he holds a vintage baseball card, he's transported back in time to a scene involving the player on the card. In Babe and Me he goes to 1932 to spend time around Babe Ruth during the 1932 World Series.

Like all the baseball card adventures, Babe and Me is rich in historical content. In this book Joe witnesses scenes related to the Great Depression, the election of Franklin Roosevelt, and the ascent of Hitler to power.

Gutman packs a lot into his books. In addition to the history, he also tries to give an up-close-and-personal view of Babe Ruth's personality, while sustaining subplots related to Joe's modern-times life - his divorced parents, his relationship with his n'ere-do-well father, and even his Little-League exploits. Gutman really develops his characters. The books are a lot grittier, with more mature themes, than, say, Magic Tree House books . This makes them much more interesting than Tree House but parents might want to check them out first if they're concerned about the mature themes. In Babe and Me , there's some swearing represented by odd punctuation (#@!%), and a subplot related to family members lost in the Holocaust.

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