I woke up this morning thinking of perhaps my favorite book growing up, Jeffrey Kelly's The Basement Baseball Club. It's a children's novel--meant, most likely, for boys grades 5-7--about a tight-knit group of boys (and one girl, too) who play baseball on sandlots against boys from other streets in the neighborhood. It has everything I wanted as a boy: humor, BELIEVABLE SPORTS ACTION (which is so hard to find in fiction), and flawed but decent characters to root for. It was the first book my brother ever bought with his own money, and we each have read it maybe a dozen times.
In the past several months, as I sent Dizzy Fantastic around to potential reviewers, Jeffrey Kelly came to mind. How cool would it be, I thought, if the author of my favorite book reviewed my debut novel? While it's become increasingly easy to locate anyone online--to find some way of communicating with them--I couldn't find Mr. Kelly. He didn't write many books (my Amazon and Barnes and Noble searches told me), he has a common name, and his publisher wouldn't release his information.
Even The Basement Baseball Club, which I continue to believe is a tremendous book for boys who love sports, can't be found on bookstore shelves these days.
I guess this post has two purposes:
1. to find Jeffrey Kelly and
2. to promote his book to a new reading audience.
Anybody know anything about Jeffrey Kelly's whereabouts? It's too late for him to review Dizzy, of course; I just want to tell him thanks for writing a book I loved so.
Are you a reader who loves sports and humor? If you are, or you know someone who might be, buy a new or used copy of The Basement Baseball Club (originally published in 1987) at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com. Let's get this book into young readers' hands again!