About The Book


Where there's smoke...

The year is 1899 and the Travelin' Nine are barnstorming their way across the good ol' U. S. of A., trying to raise money to pay off the Payne family's big-league debt.

Pulling into Chicago, Griffith has a run-in with an enormous thug and is more convinced than ever that the nefarious robber baron called "The Chancellor" knows about their magic baseball.

Ruby also has an encounter with a mysterious stranger, and even though she doesn't know why, she knows that he will change the Travelin' Nine.

And Graham launches a towering shot out of the park when he thinks no one is looking. Unfortunately, the wrong eyes may have seen what the youngest Payne can do with a baseball.

Chicago is a hot town, so the Paynes better keep their cool. The Travelin' Nine still have more money to make!

#1 New York Times bestseller Loren Long and Texas Bluebonnet winner Phil Bildner create a memorable modern-day parable where three siblings embark on the adventure of a lifetime and discover the strength in family, the power of faith, and the true magic of baseball.

New York Times bestselling series!

About The Authors

Photograph © Helen Adams

Loren Long illustrated President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing; the newest version of The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper; Madonna’s second picture book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples; Nightsong by Ari Berk; Frank McCourt’s Angela and the Baby Jesus; Love by Matt de la Peña; and If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano. He also wrote and illustrated the Otis series and was part of the Design Garage for Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series. Loren’s work has appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. He lives with his wife and two sons in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit him at LorenLong.com.

Photo Credit:

Phil Bildner is a former New York City public school teacher who lives in Newburgh, New York. He spends much of his year visiting schools and libraries around the country and world. He is the author of over twenty books including the middle grade novel A Whole New Ballgame and picture books Marvelous Cornelius, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, and Twenty-One Elephants. Along with Loren Long, he is the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Sluggers series. Visit him online at PhilBildner.com.

About The Illustrators

Photograph © Helen Adams

Loren Long illustrated President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing; the newest version of The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper; Madonna’s second picture book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples; Nightsong by Ari Berk; Frank McCourt’s Angela and the Baby Jesus; Love by Matt de la Peña; and If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano. He also wrote and illustrated the Otis series and was part of the Design Garage for Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series. Loren’s work has appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. He lives with his wife and two sons in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit him at LorenLong.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 14, 2009)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439164099
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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