Author: Paul Lonardo
Publisher: PL Publishing
Published: April 11, 2021
The one thing eleven-year-old Jake Lupo loves more than anything else is baseball. However, despite his father being a professional pitcher, Jake's fear of failing has kept him from competing against children his own age. When his father, who has recovered from a serious arm injury, is invited to pitch for an independent team, Jake and his parents move to Pine Barrows, a far flung forested mountain outpost. Jake is excited about his father's chance at a comeback, but he soon learns that he is not the only one in Pine Barrows who loves baseball. Goblins love to play baseball, too, and Pine Barrows happens to be chock full of them. Then Jake discovers that the region is occupied by two factions of warring goblins.
It turns out that Jake has a secret kinship with the legendary beings, and he is the only one who can save them, their kingdom and his mother. However, Jake must believe in himself and play a winner-take-all game against the best goblin players in Pine Barrows.
My Thoughts: This book was absolutely delightful. I'm an avid reader of folklore, so I really loved that all the different types of goblins and other faerie creatures were straight out of lore or fairystories. The hogboon, fachan, redcap, kallikanzaros, and Jenny Greenteeth, (just to name a few) are all creatures pulled from (mostly European) legends. These terrifying creatures have been stalking human imaginations for centuries. Jenny Greenteeth, goblins, and hobgoblins have even made their way into D&D (Dungeons & Dragons). I found Lonardo's depiction of the goblins quite accurate, I loved how many different species there were - every goblin was unique, and contributed something useful to their society.