Book Review: The Dogs Who Play Baseball by Thomas Louis Carroll

The Dogs Who Play Baseball by Thomas Louis Carroll

A Humorous Middle-Grade Novel published by Almanor & Loraque Press (08/18/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

“Something about Louie and Sally said baseball. Even without their hats and beat-up gloves, their Louisville Sluggers with marks on the bat for every home run, and the raggedy baseballs, people knew they were baseball kids.” (4% Kindle Edition).

Louie and the neighborhood kids just want to play baseball but after getting kicked out of their own field, they’ll come up with a way to challenge the older kids to win back the rights to the field. Teaching the dogs to play baseball won’t be too hard but it will be difficult to convince everyone that dogs can play against the best of them!

Keywords:

Middle Grade, Humor, Dogs, Animals, Sports, Baseball, Team, Disabled, Wheelchair, Yankees, Bronx, Unbelievable, Yankees Stadium

My Review:

If you love both dogs and baseball, you will get a kick out of this book. It goes from silly can’t-believe-it good-humored fun to serious on-the-edge-of-your-seat baseball action… with dogs of course. As this book goes on it does get more ridiculous (it’s funny how the adults can’t believe how ridiculous everything is). Throughout the hilarity, a love of everything baseball comes through clearly.

Even if you don’t love or completely understand the mechanics of baseball, you will enjoy this warm-hearted book full of great life lessons. Carroll does get into the mechanics and techniques that the kids use to get the dogs to play baseball, but not too in-depth. You will have to suspend your disbelief a little and get creative imagining dogs with bats and baskets attached to their tails. How do they run the bases with those bats attached? How does a dog slide through to home? It did seem a little too easy to get the dogs to play baseball but this just adds to the comedic element of the book.

The fun repeated refrains the author uses, like “You can say that again,” and “There’s no barking in baseball,” made me smile each time they repeated.

I especially liked how the author gave the main character Louie a greater purpose for teaching the dogs to play baseball and to get them to play against real baseball teams and win. One of the minor characters, Louie’s mom Mimi, is in a wheelchair and can’t walk due to a car accident some years ago. It’s neat the author included the normalization of a character with this disability. I learned that there’s a special viewing location at Yankee Stadium for people in wheelchairs. I’ve never thought about accessibility at stadiums before.

I can imagine that this would be a really fun book to read out loud to your kids or to listen to as an audiobook on long drives with the family. If you’re a young reader (or have a kid who is reading middle-grade novels), then they could enjoy reading this one on their own as the target audience. They could really relate to this book if they are also participating in a Little League or have a Labrador, Collie, Bulldog, Whippet, Basset Hound, or a Scotty dog. Chester the Labrador, though, is the star (Most Valuable Dog) of the book.

This novel was published by Almanor & Loraque Press on 08/18/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Thomas Louis Carroll’s Website

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