It is every baseball kid’s dream summer job: batboy for your hometown Major League team. Yet for 14 year-old Brian, the job means more than just the chance to hang around his idols. Baseball was the job his father loved so much, in the end he couldn’t leave it. Yet he could leave his family. Now Brian sees the job as the way to win back his father. There is no winning back some people, though. Just ask Hank Bishop—once the most popular player in baseball before he was banned for using steroids. Now he is making his comeback. And an unlikely friendship slowly develops between this man in need of a family and this boy in need of a father. Mike Lupica, king of the sports novel, delivers his most powerful and kid-friendly to date.
©2010 Mike Lupica (P)2010 Penguin
If you know and enjoy baseball, and like kids fiction, I expect that you will enjoy this story a lot. I did. It is quite predictable, but pulls the right strings, and I enjoyed it. It combines a 14 year-old boy's youth baseball experience with his chance to be a major league bat boy. Also, we have the a baseball star who becomes a fallen idol and an estranged father who happens to be a former major league baseball player. While I could see all the twists coming at each turn, I enjoyed it anyway. There is a lot of baseball in this, and knowing and appreciating the game is a key to enjoying this novel.
The biggest problem - the reader spoke much too fast. He did okay for the conversation, but was terrible when he read the rest. Maybe you should look for the regular print book. Still, I did finally get used to the reader, and liked the book in spite of him.
I enjoyed listening to this book. It was easy to follow and very interesting. I think middle schoolers, high schoolers and adults who like sports would enjoy this book (as reviewed by a 12 yr old)
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