The Rhino in Right Field

It’s 1948 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this funny middle grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.


“Laugh-out-loud fun with a wonderful cast of characters. A winner in every way.” —Kirkus, starred review

“DeKeyser skillfully melds historical details…with fast-paced action and humor.” —School Library Journal

“Funny and good-hearted…. The conclusion hits the story out of the park.” —Publishers Weekly

“Accessible, detailed, and charmingly genuine. A solid home run.” —Booklist

Awards & Honors:

Nominated for:

  • Connecticut Book Award
  • Mark Twain readers’ award (Missouri)
  • Sequoyah readers’ award (Oklahoma)
  • Rhode Island Children’s Book Award
  • Texas Bluebonnet Award
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Award
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award
  • Maud Hart Lovelace readers’ award (Minnesota)

Statewide Battle of the Books title:

  • New Mexico
  • Wisconsin

Other honors:

  • Amazon Editors’ Pick
  • Represented Wisconsin literature at the 2019 National Book Festival
  • Center for Children’s Literature “Best Books” list
  • Laura Bush’s summer reading list

Behind the Scenes:

On the Air and in Print:

  • Listen to a conversation about the real-life local inspiration for the book on WUWM, Milwaukee’s NPR station.
  • Hear about my writing process (and my love of baseball) on Baseball by the Book.
  • Read a short profile in the April 2019 issue of the Milwaukee County Zoological Society’s Wild Things magazine.
B&W photos courtesy of the Milwaukee County Zoo Library and Archives