Haunting at Home Plate


Albert Whitman & Company, 2000

“What am I doing here in the middle of the night, anyway? I’m waiting for the ghost, or whoever it is who’s been sending messages to the team, helping us get smart, helping us toward the playoffs. He’s helping—but he’s scaring us, too.”

Twelve-year-old Nelson and his baseball team are having a rough season after losing one of their star players and their coach.

When Nelson talks his 19-year-old cousin Mike (short for Michele) into taking over the team, Mike tells them about Andy Kirk, who fell from a giant cedar tree to his death while watching his older brother hit a winning run. Soon, cryptic messages signed “AK” begin cropping up around the baseball diamond, and the team must decide what to make of them.

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“Young readers who are interested in baseball and like a good mystery will find this title hard to beat.”  —School Library Journal

“Patneaude punches up the story with play-by-plays that rival the commentary of a real-life sports announcer. Fans of baseball and of stories about the paranormal will get their fill from this absorbing novel.”  —Booklist


  • 2002-2003 Volunteer State Book Award Intermediate Master Reading List
  • 2002-2003 Texas Lone Star List
  • 2003 Sasquatch Reading Award Master List (WA)
  • 2003-2004 Young Hoosier Book Award Middle Grades Master List
  • 2003-2004 Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards Master Reading List
  • 2003 Garden State Children’s Book Award Master List (NJ)
  • 2003-2004 Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award Master List (FL)
  • 2002-2003 West Virginia Children’s Book Award Master List