A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hit & Miss is a solid sequel to the excellent series start The Contract, continuing the story of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter's journey through childhood and Little League and his precocious quest to be a Yankee great. Now age 9, Derek begins to understand the value of his supportive family, his diverse group of friends, and his steadfast commitment to his athletic pursuits.
What's the story?
HIT & MISS is the second book in a 10-part series documenting baseball great Derek Jeter's childhood and Little League career, following Jeter's 2014 middle-grade fiction debut, The Contract. Last season, young Derek was disappointed with his coach and the team's performance, though he made personal strides. Picking up where the first book left off, Derek, now 9 years old, is much more excited by the opportunity to star this season as shortstop on a solid team filled with his friends. However, he has to learn how to overcome adversity within his friend group as well as in his home life, in addition to experiencing a nasty hitting slump to start the season. Derek hits his stride in the classroom and on the field; reaches out to a new classmate, who becomes a friend; confronts a bully; and puts his team in a position to play for a championship. His game and his character are still works in progress, but with the love and commitment of his parents and his passion for baseball, it's clear he's on the right track.
Is it any good?
A compelling and positive coming-of-age tale, Hit & Miss is perfect for kids and tweens who play sports, though its protagonist is a great role model for any ambitious young person. It's interesting to watch Derek get older and more mature both as a star and leader on his team and as a big brother and classmate.
Issues of class, race, and teen angst are hinted at, not seeming to cloud Jeter's mind at such a young age, though the books seem to be setting up future installments that may deal with heavier issues. For now, Derek is infatuated with his love of the game and the pursuit of his life's dream, and that's a joy and an inspiration to behold.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenge of making friends after moving to a new town or school. How can you reach out to someone struggling to find friends?
Derek's buddy Dave is extremely well-off, but they find that they have a lot more in common than either of them expected. Why is it important not to judge a book by its cover?
Even though he was standing up for his sister, Derek chose the wrong approach to dealing with his sister Sharlee's problem. How should he have handled her bully?
- Authors: Derek Jeter, Paul Mantell
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
- Publication date: April 28, 2015
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.