What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, aside from the mentions of some products, there is nothing to be concerned about here. Hutch, despite some understandable mistakes, is a great role model of conscious sportsmanship and team playing.
What's the story?
When shortstop Hutch is moved to second base on his team to make room for more talented, but arrogant, new player Darryl, he rolls with the punches for the good of the team. But when he sees his own father, who never seems to have any time for or interest in him, coaching Darryl, he can't handle it, and endangers both what's left of his relationship with his dad, and his team's chances in the championship.
Is it any good?
Here's what most good sports books are: exciting, suspenseful, action-packed. This one is too -- the many game and practice scenes are fast-paced and lovingly described. Here's what some of the best baseball books are: lyrical, almost poetic, in their attempt to capture that indefinable feeling that makes baseball different from any other sport. This one is too -- Lupica's sharp and rhythmic prose brilliantly captures the passion, joy, intelligence, and beauty of the summertime sport.
Here's what most of those other books are not: moving, powerfully emotional, as much concerned with the characters as with the sports action. But this one is. There's really only one other writer who can pack this much emotion and sheer intelligence into sports fiction for kids: Bruce Brooks, and he hasn't had a new novel in years. Lupica deftly uses Hutch's rivalry with Darryl to lay bare Hutch's troubled relationship with his distant and disappointed father, who has given up on life and wants Hutch to do the same. This is what you hope for when you recommend a sports book to reluctant readers: action that will keep them riveted to the page in a story will help deepen their understanding of the game, of people, and of life.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Hutch's dad. Why is he the way he is?
Why did losing his baseball dream hit him so hard?
Why can't he connect
with his son? Also, why does Hutch love the game so much?
Have you ever
felt that way about a sport?