July 22, 2010

Compelling baseball novels by Mike Lupica

Fourteen-year-old Brian is having a terrific summer. He managed to land his dream job: batboy for the Detroit Tigers. Plus, he just found out that his number one hero, Hank Bishop, has joined the team. But Bishop turns out  to be not-so-nice, and Brian must struggle with his feelings of disappointment and loyalty. When Bishop and Brian, who also plays on a little league team, both struggle with hitting slumps, they find a common ground, and learn to deal with their own expectations.

Keith "Hutch" Hutchinson was forced to cede his shortstop position to hot-shot Darryl Williams. Hutch tries to be a good captain, but his anger and resentment are getting in the way. He tries talking to his father, an ex-player, but his dad never seems interested. So when his dad betrays him, Hutch's reaction threatens his team's chances at the state championship. 

Both Brian and Hutch have to deal with distant fathers and fallen heroes. But with supportive teammates and lessons learned on the field, they come to accept all of life's twists and turns. With honest emotion, snappy dialogue, and exciting game action, Mike Lupica's stories really capture the joy of baseball.

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