Darryl Williams
Baseball for boys and girls

There are lots of novels about what happens on the baseball diamond, and lots more with baseball as the background to drama off the field. Mike Lupica's particular genius, though, is for getting on the page how sports are not just the games guys play, but the air they breathe and the blood in their veins. A newspaper and magazine sports columnist with a devoted following, Lupica has written successful children's (and adult) books about various sports, but as a Chicago Cubs family, we've found his books set in the world of youth baseball most compelling. His latest novel, "The Big Field" (Philomel/Penguin Young Readers Group: $17.99, ages 9 and up), is all about...