Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Miracle Mud, by David A. Kelly and Oliver Dominguez

Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud That Changed Baseball
The main purpose of a nonfiction book is to teach us something we didn't know, and this one - if you'll pardon the pun - smacked it out of the ballpark.
I will readily admit to not knowing much about baseball, or any other sport, for that matter. I knew that 'spitballs' are against the rules. I did not know that, decades ago, baseball players routinely rubbed balls with spit, shoe polish, and any number of other things, in order to take the shine off (it does not quite explain why that was necessary until the author's note at the end). I also did not know that only one kind of mud, taken from a semi-secret location, can be used to rub the shine off of Major League balls to this day. Crazy!
You should be able to easily hand-sell this to any young baseball aficcionado, as well as any trivia-loving child. Heck, I couldn't care less about the sport, and I was fascinated! The illustrations with their muted colors and fantastic facial expessions will merit going back for a second or third look.
Thank-you to Millbrook Press for the review copy! For more great nonfiction books, head over to Instantly Interrubtible.


  1. I'm still waiting for this book to arrive at my library. It does mention that the mud comes from NJ, right?

  2. Yes, the main text indicates that the mud is from a river in New Jersey, and the author's note adds more detail, saying, "Lena discovered his special mud near his home in New Jersey, along the banks of the Delaware River."

    Happy reading!

  3. Thanks for answering, Carol! Amazing that this mud everyone uses comes from just one particular spot.

  4. Love the cover and review! Thanks!