The Atlanta Alibi

Random. (Ballpark ­Mysteries: Bk. 18). Feb. 2022. 112p. lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9780593126288; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593126271.
Gr 3-4–Junior sleuths and baseball fans Mike and Kate return in the 18th installment in the series. The cousins attend a Braves home game with Kate’s sports reporter Mom when they stumble onto a crime: Hank Aaron’s bat and ball from his record-setting 715th home run are missing! There are plenty of suspects and false leads to keep readers engaged in this solvable case, along with a wealth of baseball facts. Meyers’s illustrations add depth, but the text carries the narrative. Kelly is able to introduce challenging vocabulary (evidence, editions) thanks to the novel’s reader-friendly design featuring short sentences and wide margins. “Dugout Notes” back matter includes fun facts about the city of Atlanta, the Braves, and the legendary Hank Aaron.
VERDICT Another winning entry in a solid, sporty transitional reader series.

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