The Longest Season

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
The Longest Season Book Poster Image
Cal Ripken Jr.'s losing season in 1988.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's nothing offensive about this book. The message is a worthy one for every one -- young or old.

User Reviews

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Adult Written bycailin7591 April 9, 2008

Great life lesson

A story of perseverance in the face of adversity, and an example of how, sometimes, you are going to lose, but you still have to keep trying. A story children... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Cal Ripken Jr. shares the story of his losing streak in 1988 while playing for the Baltimore Orioles.

Is it any good?

The players' frustration and sadness is aptly conveyed in Ron Mazellan's paintings; parents will appreciate the book's message, and kids will appreciate the lack of lecturing. Ripken sets a good example without ever getting preachy. The book is long and 4-year-olds who aren't fans of baseball are unlikely to sit still for it, but the top age recommended by the publisher (8 years) seems a bit young.

Cal Ripken Jr. may be a baseball legend but that doesn't mean that he doesn't know what it is to go through hard times. In fact, says Ripken on the front page of the book, he became an intimate friend to losing after he had established himself as a winner. And so Ripken launches into the story of his season in 1988: the year the Orioles finished last and every game was a disaster.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to win and how it feels to lose. Is it hard to try again after losing a game? Why is it important to do so? What are some things we can tell ourselves when we're feeling pessimistic about our chances? Is there value in playing even if winning is unlikely?

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