The second book that I was honored to be able to review for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 is: Most Valuable Players #1 - The Gold Medal Mess written by David A. Kelly Illustrated by Scott Brundage

MVP #1: The Gold Medal Mess written by David A. Kelly and illustrated by Scott Brundage.

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First for some basics about the book itself… it is a short story, mystery paperback children’s book. It also has cute illustrations scattered throughout.  It is listed as being for age range of 6-9 yrs and grades 1-4. It has 128 pages, and is published by Random House Books for Young Readers , is a Stepping Stone Book , and is written in English. It was written by David A. Kelly and illustrated by Scott Brundage.

Mr. Kelly has written nearly 2 dozen books and an excerpt from his websites “About” page shares the following information about him:

“David A. Kelly is an established children’s book author, book contributor, travel writer, and technology analyst and writer.

David holds an MBA in Marketing from Bentley University, an MA in Cognitive and Neural Networks from Boston University, and an BA from Syracuse University. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the nation’s leading professional organization for travel writers.

The illustrator, Mr. Brundage has illustrated for children’s book and editorial magazines. An excerpt from his About Page on his website states:

“His work has been recognized by The Society of Illustrators 57,  American Illustration 29, Spectrum 19, 20 and won a Silver award in Spectrum Fantastic Art 18. His paintings have been seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Tor Books, AARP, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post and many others. In 2012, Scott contributed a painting to the Microvisions student scholarship auction at the Society of Illustrators.”

MVP #1 – The Gold Medal Mess is the 1st book in the Most Valuable Players series. Actually, this book is where the group of 5 diverse friends come up with their name after their mysterious adventure trying to figure out who wants to ruin the school Olympics!

The book begins by introducing the readers to the 5 characters, who are made up of a diverse group of grammar school athletes. This was my daughters favorite part of the book. She liked looking at the characters and picking which one as her favorite. Now mind you… my daughter is only 5 years old so this book was a little too advanced for her to enjoy but I did get her to sit with me while I read aloud for a few chapters!

Most Valuable Players - The Gold Medal Mess written by David A. Kelly illustrated by Scott Brundage Daughter Reading 1


I finished the book on my own, and quickly realized this was the kind of book I would’ve loved as a kid. I loved mystery books so much so that at one point as a kid I ran out of mystery series in the children’s section of our library!

The author does a great job of painting the picture for the reader and with creating intrigue in trying to figure out who is causing all the problems! The addition of the illustrations by Scott Brundage placed sporadically throughout the story really help visualize the story for younger readers.

The best part of the book? The diverse group of friends that give a myriad of children somebody to relate to.

The book also subtly teaches kids to be critical thinkers and to be curious. This is so important in this day and age. Another lesson is that practicing to improve is a great quality to have, but it does not guarantee a win. These characters were gracious whether they won or lost so I appreciate that. That is a lesson I try to teach my children so it was nice to see that.

Most Valuable Players - The Gold Medal Mess written by David A. Kelly illustrated by Scott Brundage Signature and book pic

Don’t mind the napkins.. lol

The author sent it a signed “Certified Ballpark Mysteries Reader” card along with the book and my daughter thought it was so “cool” that she had something from the person who wrote the book! So thank you David for that.

Part of being lucky enough to have the honor of reviewing a book for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 is that we received the book for free and were asked to create an activity to go along with the review. We live in Buffalo, NY and it’s winter so we thought of the idea of creating a sort of Indoor Olympics to play around and exercise. Below is a suggested list of items but really the idea is just to use whatever you have around the house.

Suggested Items:

  • Pillows
  • Riding toys
  • Balls
  • Buckets
  • Hula Hoop
  • Lines in tiles/floor
  • etc!

Set up an obstacle course with the various items you have and then just enjoy! It gets the kids moving, playing, and having fun.

You can purchase this book on Amazon , featured on TheMixedShop, and other outlets.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site:

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

– Facebook page

– Twitter

Hope you enjoy!


Haven’t signed up yet for your FREE “Mixed Kids Rule” printable and ACCESS to our online Multicultural community? Why not? Do so below!

Check out my previous post–> Book Review of We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart.