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Rajani LaRocca and I discuss the importance of finding a community of writers and how that led her to publication, as well as her newest novel, MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL. We talk about the “slight fairytale” that led her to finding her literary agent, her time as a pitch wars mentor, plantsing, coordinating publicity and school visits (even during a pandemic), her Stem Women in KidLit podcast, the value of an author’s time, how doctoring makes her a better writer, and so much more.
Ben hasn’t played baseball in two years, and he doesn’t want to play now—but he has to, thanks to losing a bet with his best friend. Once Ben realizes Trish is on the team, he knows he can’t quit and be embarrassed by her again. To make matters worse, their team is terrible.
Then both kids meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family’s store, which sells unusual snacks that’ll make them better ballplayers. They’re dubious, but willing to try almost anything to help their team.
When booklets of mysterious math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrive in Trish and Ben’s mailboxes, they each start solving the puzzles, first on their own and then together, and find themselves becoming closer. And suddenly, their baseball team becomes unstoppable. Trish and Ben are happy to keep riding the wave of good luck . . . until they get to a puzzle they can’t solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the “ultimate answer,” or will they strike out when it counts the most?
Told in alternating voices, this companion to Midsummer’s Mayhem is a fresh take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.