by Johnny D. Boggs
Book list In 1946 99-year-old Win McNaughton is an honored guest at a World Series game in St. Louis. He has spent a lifetime in and around baseball as a player, umpire, and manager. Asked by reporters to recount his baseball life, McNaughton focuses on his teenage years, when he joined the Union Army at 17 and became a prisoner of war at Camp Ford, the largest camp west of the Mississippi River. It was there that McNaughton helped organize a baseball game between the Union prisoners and their Confederate guards. The game, initially seen as an excuse to break the monotony of Camp Ford's dreary routine, soon becomes a mini-Civil War, as the Confederates, with their fortunes waning on the real battlefields, struggle to maintain dominance on the diamond. Boggs' carefully researched novel boasts meticulously drawn characters and captures in a striking way the amazing changes America underwent during the span of one man's life. An unusual, very rich western that should attract not only genre readers but also baseball fans and Civil War buffs. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2005 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.