The Boonsville Bombers



Book: The Boonsville Bombers

Author: Alison Cragin Herzig

Illustrator: Dan Andreasen

Publisher: Puffin Books, republished in 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0670835959 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0670835951 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0140345780 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0140345787 Paperback

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8 and up

Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Herzig, Alison Cragin.  The Boonsville Bombers (published in 1991 by Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc. of the Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York City, NY  10014).  Ten year old Emma Lee Benson lives in Boonsville with her mom, dad, and older brother Michael who’s in the sixth grade.  Mike has a baseball team with his friends Joe, Spike, Ben, and Weasel called the Boonsville Bombers.  Emma’s dream is to play on the team. She’s been working hard practicing pitching and catching, but Mike and his friends, especially Joe, won’t let her play.  Joe has the only bat and says if Emma plays, he’ll take the bat and leave.  Then Emma gets a present from Aunt Esther.  It’s a box of old baseball cards, including a rookie card of Owen Zabriskie who is all the kids’ favorite player. Emma comes up with a plan to convince them to change their minds.  What will she do to get Mike to allow her to play?  How will the other guys react?  Will they ever let Emma be on the team?

Sigh!  I suppose that one could consider The Boonsville Bombers just another propaganda tool to brainwash children into thinking that there are simply no differences between boys and girls.  If there’s a “historic black college,” there’s nothing wrong with that, but if there would be a “historic white college,” that’s racist!  If girls want a team of their own, that’s fine and dandy, but if boys want a team of their own, that’s sexist!  Yes, I know that boys should be nice to girls, treat them kindly, and not bully them.  If that’s what kids get out of this book, then I guess it’s all right.   In that respect, there actually is a cute story here, but I must admit that I do get a little tired of all the constant gender-baiting.  As to language, some common euphemisms (gee, darned, gosh) occur, but no cursing or profanity.

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