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Parents' Guide to

Out of the Ballpark

By Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Yankee MVP's tale is all about positive attitude.

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While there's lots of opportunity to turn moralistic here, Alex's story remains accessible and encouraging throughout because of the kid-to-kid tone of the narrator.

Even if you have no idea that Alex Rodriguez was twice voted the most valuable player for the New York Yankees, that he hit 400 homeruns before he turned 30 or that he was drafted by the Seattle Mariners straight out of high school, you'll still appreciate his fictionalized account of his little league self. Parents might point out to kids that Alex does more than practice -- he sees himself winning the game. When his regrets about the last game feel overwhelming, he focuses and works harder.

The "real life" aspect of the story is played up with the addition of captioned pictures from Rodriguez's photo album showing him at the age of the kid in the story. Morrison's fine illustrations capture the energy and excitement of the games and of Alex's home life, with lots of angles and action and a wiry look to the pre-adolescent hero. While few kids will ever become major league players, most of them will identify with Alex's drive and commitment. And they may just be inspired by his example to work a little harder at their own passions.

Book Details

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