Kathryn Gibbs Davis
Slugger Mike
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Slugger Mike
  Never Sink Nine series #3
written by Gibbs Davis
Yearling, 1991
ages 7 to 10, ISBN 978-0553158830
Bantam Skylark paperback, 1991
When the team slugger moves away, his best friends Mike and Walter vie to be the new team slugger.
  Each book features a different team member (boy or girl), and a game. Teammates on and off-the-field, the Never Sink Nine deal with school, family life, and sportsmanship.  
“Walter is crushed to realize that, at age eight and three-fourths, he is too young to play baseball on his brother’s team and has missed the tryouts for the nine-year-old league. Consoled by Grandpa reminding him ‘it only takes nine,’ Walter secures Grandpa as coach, then he and his buddy Mike scour the town drafting players and Mr. Pappas of Never Sink Nine Plumbing as sponsor. Soon the ‘nine’ comprise four girls, five guys and Tony Pappas, official team artist because of a broken leg. Combining game action with off-the-field school politics and sibling rivalries, Davis creates an engaging series to satisfy the tastes of young independent readers.”
“… a team member is the story’s hero, as the Never Sink Nine compete in games; deal with their schoolwork and changes in their lives; and confront the issues of sportsmanship, winning and acceptance of self. Humor, lots of dialogue, and cohesive plot development make these good selections for sports fiction sections.”
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