A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Accurately portrays Little League and the ups and downs of elementary school social life.
Reach out to a new classmate, knowing how hard it can be for some people to fit in. Work hard in school and sports. Behave respectfully on and off the field. Follow your dreams. Be a good role model for your younger siblings.
Positive Role Models
Derek holds firm in his commitment to his "contract" (established in the first book in the series) to conduct himself respectfully on and off the field and to set a good example for his little sister. Derek's supportive parents stress the importance of schoolwork, and Derek's competitive spirit drives him to compete with his rival Gary for the best test scores. His kindness, thoughtfulness, and intense desire to win make him an ideal sports hero.
Violence & Scariness
Derek loses his cool and confronts a bully several years younger than himself, shoving him in the chest and making him cry. However, this clear breach of his contract with his parents is thoroughly punished and used as an example of how not to deal with a problem.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.