7 Days at the Hot Corner

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In baseball, fielding your position at third base is tricky—that's why third is called "the hot corner." You have to be aware that anything can happen at any time.

This should be the best year of Scott's life: It's his last season of varsity ball, his team is about to go to the city championship, and a pro career is on the line. Instead, everything he always counted on comes crashing down at the same time, and his whole life is like one blazing...

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7 Days at the Hot Corner

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Overview

In baseball, fielding your position at third base is tricky—that's why third is called "the hot corner." You have to be aware that anything can happen at any time.

This should be the best year of Scott's life: It's his last season of varsity ball, his team is about to go to the city championship, and a pro career is on the line. Instead, everything he always counted on comes crashing down at the same time, and his whole life is like one blazing hot corner—full of deadly line drives and crazy "bad hops."

Scott can't believe the awful stuff coming his way, but it's time to find out whether he has what it takes to play the hot corner—on the baseball diamond and off it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With a compelling twist on a coming-out story, Trueman's (Stuck in Neutral) novel stars 18-year-old Scott Latimer, a baseball fanatic who plays third base (the "hot corner" of the title) for his high school's team. Scott's world is thrown into disarray when his best friend, Travis, reveals that he's gay during the citywide baseball tournament. Now, in addition to worrying about playing well in the seven-day tournament, Scott anxiously awaits the results of an HIV test that he gets in secret: he fears he may have contracted AIDS after a batting cage incident, in which he wound up with Travis's blood on his hands. When Travis's parents kick their son out of the house, thinking he may influence his younger brother, Travis moves in with Scott's family, causing additional tension between the two best friends. An article in the high school newspaper anonymously relates Travis's struggles as a gay high school senior, and Scott fears that his classmates might think he's gay as well if they discover the article is about Travis. Scott wrestles with gripping fear about potentially having contracted AIDS, anger that his best friend kept his sexuality a secret from him for so many years, confusion about his own and his fellow classmates' prejudices, and concern for Travis's safety. Readers will likely be affected by this emotional journey of a kid who would have been happy to limit his concerns to catching blazing line drives and working toward a shot at the major leagues. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
Playing third base is so tricky it's known as "the hot corner." Scott, a high school senior, plays varsity baseball and aspires to play professionally, but suddenly his position on the field isn't the only difficult place in which he finds himself. His best friend Travis has just come out as gay, to Scott's complete surprise, and Scott is panicked that because Travis got blood on him a few months back as a result of a minor injury, Scott might have HIV. Meanwhile, Travis's parents have kicked him out of the house, and Travis has come to live with Scott's family, even though Scott, angry and confused, can hardly bear to talk to him. Travis accuses Scott of living in a "fantasyland," oblivious to everything but baseball, but over the course of a week Scott learns to appreciate what's really important in his life. Trueman, the acclaimed author of Stuck in Neutral, Inside Out, and Cruise Control, is unafraid of tackling big issues, and he does a good job of conveying Scott's conflicted feelings about his friend's revelation even if the novel does come across as rather didactic. The baseball action and metaphors may help draw in readers who wouldn't otherwise pick up a tale about coming out and accepting others as they are. Some expletives, but there's nothing sexually explicit here.
VOYA - Debbie Clifford
Scott, a senior third baseman on the varsity team, is awaiting an AIDS test at the public health clinic. His best friend, Travis, has revealed anonymously in the school newspaper that he is gay but shows the article to Scott as his way of telling him. Scott remembers a recent incident when he had come into contact with Travis' blood. Now he has to wait seven days before getting the test results. Scott spends the time trying to figure out how he feels about Travis. In baseball, the "hot corner" refers to third base, to which right-handed hitters will hit the ball hard. The third baseman has to be ready for anything-balls can hop or line drive or anything in between. Scott feels as if his life off the baseball diamond is something of a hot corner. He has to field his feelings of betrayal, fear, and bigotry as well as concentrate on the city baseball championship tournament. The story is told in Scott's voice, taking the reader along on his roller-coaster ride of emotions-the highs of winning at baseball, the lows of dealing with his feelings about Travis, and the terror of watching the homophobic reaction of some teammates. Teen readers will identify with Scott as they come to see him as a decent guy, and they will want things to work out for him. It is a gripping read that could open up meaningful discussions about prejudice and acceptance.
Judith A. Hayn
This page-turner opens with Scott, a senior in high school, nervously sitting in the waiting room of the Spokane Public Health building to take an AIDS test. His best friend Travis has outed himself in an anonymous interview published in the school newspaper, and his parents asked him to leave home because they are worried he will negatively influence his younger brother. Scott's dad is allowing Travis to live with them, much to Scott's discomfort. During impromptu practice at the batting cage, Travis gets hit and develops a massive nosebleed. Scott now fears the worst result of an unexpected homosexual encounter and gets tested. The novel follows Scott during the seven days he must wait for the results. He is the third baseman on the undefeated high school baseball team, and Trueman highlights the plot with baseball action, sports allusions, and flashbacks. This is the powerful, well-written story of a young man who plays the "hot corner," a reference to both his baseball position and the tense place he finds himself in life. As a bonus, myths about AIDS are dispelled with accurate information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060574949
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/27/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Trueman grew up in the northern suburbs of Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of Washington, where he received his BA in creative writing. He also has an MS in applied psychology and an MFA in creative writing, both from Eastern Washington University.

Terry is also the author of Stuck in Neutral and its companion novel, Cruise Control; Hurricane; 7 Days at the Hot Corner; No Right Turn; and Inside Out.

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Read an Excerpt

7 Days at the Hot Corner EPB

Chapter One

Day 1

(Tuesday)

Third base, defense: Fielding your position at third is tricky-that's why third base is called "the hot corner." You have to be aware that anything can happen at any time. The hot corner is a world of deadly line drives and crazy "bad hops," sacrifice bunts and long, difficult throws; it's a place where a lot of action happens that can make or break your team-and it's all just part of the game!

I love baseball. I mean, I really love baseball.

Sorry, let me be more clear: Baseball is the most important thing in my life. I'm totally addicted; it's the one thing I've always been able to count on. Hey, I'm not exactly alone: If you Google the word "baseball," you get 135,000,000 hits in .07 of a second-that's one hundred thirty-five million. Some people get strung out on meth or heroin, some on porno or Krispy Kremes, some on music, jogging, lifting weights, or on one of the "lesser" sports like hoops or football-but that ain't me. Nope, for me it's baseball above all, baseball or nothing. I'm Scott Latimer, eighteen years old, starting third baseman on Thompson High School's varsity baseball team.

So why is it that when things go wrong, in baseball and in life, they sometimes go so hugely wrong? Why can't bad stuff come one thing at a time, so that you can handle that thing, get over it, and just get strong and ready to play a little ball? Why do bad things always seem to happen right when some good thing is out there ready for you to grab? Some great thing that you've worked for and dreamedabout, right there, but when you reach for it, all your dreams just die.

It may not be fair to say, but it's my best friend Travis Adams's fault that right now I'm at the Spokane County Public Health building, sitting in an ugly orange vinyl chair. On a small white ticket in my hand is the number 23. What are the odds that when I pulled out a number from the stupid waiting-turn machine, I'd get my uniform number, 23, my "lucky" number? Maybe that's a good sign . . . but I doubt it.

The last number they called was 16, so it looks like I'm going to be here for a while. I've decided to get an AIDS test. I'm not gay; I'm not an IV drug user, either. I'm a third baseman. I shouldn't have to be worried about this stuff, and I know that it's borderline idiotic, or maybe over the borderline, that I'm even here. The chances that I have AIDS are probably low; but still, I need to find out.

This week, of all weeks, I should just be playing baseball. It's almost the end of my senior year-graduation is only a month away-and therefore it's also the end of my high school baseball career. The Spokane All-City High School Tournament starts later today. If we play well enough, and get a little lucky, we'll be in the championship game on Saturday. We've won a record-setting fourteen games in a row, unheard-of at the high school level-so really, this should be a great, amazing time. If I'm ever going to get noticed by a pro scout and get a chance to be drafted by a pro baseball team, it'll happen this week; I've gotta focus on baseball and nothing else-but instead I'm sitting in this uncomfortable chair, waiting to find out whether or not I'm a dead man.

I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but that is the situation. I have to be sure that I don't have AIDS so that I can put it out of my mind and just concentrate on playing ball. I can't talk about this with my parents and I won't discuss it with Travis-who doesn't want to talk to me right now either. This is just something I have to do, and something I'd rather do by myself.

I walked in here half an hour ago. It's a stupid-looking building, a nasty brown brick place. When I first came in, I glanced around and found a directory of different programs on the wall. I saw listings for Unwed Mothers, Aid to Dependent Children, Substance Abuse. Great list, huh? Obviously you come here only if you have problems-big ones! And then I spotted it: HIV Testing-Room 105.

As I went in the direction of room 105, walking like a condemned man on his way to the electric chair, my mouth felt dry. I could feel my heart pounding inside of me. I hate needles, and all in all this is not a good place to be-I don't want people thinking I'm gay and who the hell wants to find out that you might be sick and never get to play baseball again? As I walked, I also started to feel dizzy. Finally I leaned against the wall for support. My stomach flip-flopped around, sweat broke out on my forehead, and I couldn't seem to catch my breath.

"Are you all right?" I heard a woman's voice behind me.

I looked up to see a middle-aged lady. "Dorothy" said a name tag on her white nurse's uniform. Her expression was kind.

I pulled myself together as well as I could. "I'm fine. I'm just here to have that burger-flipping thing done."

What had I just said?

"Excuse me?" She smiled.

I muttered, "You know, the thing you do to work in restaurants, the health card and the shot thing for handling food." In Spokane, if you want to work in food service, you have to get a shot. I'd planned out the "burger-flipping" excuse to cover my tracks for being in this building in case I ran into anyone I knew.

"Hepatitis B," Dorothy said. "Follow me."

She began to walk toward room 105.

7 Days at the Hot Corner EPB. Copyright (c) by Terry Trueman . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    "The hot corner." In baseball, it's third base. So named because of the fact that you always have to be ready for anything, and no one knows it better than eighteen-year-old Scott Latimer. <BR/><BR/>Scott is the starting third baseman on Thompson High School's varsity baseball team. The Spokane All-City High School Tournament is coming up in a matter of days, so of course Scott is worried about how he'll handle himself on "the hot corner." <BR/><BR/>The only problem is that, as life has a way of doing, things in his personal life are a little messed up at the moment. His best friend, Travis, was recently kicked out of his house by his parents and has been staying with Scott and his dad. And that was fine, until Travis handed him a copy of the school newspaper, which contained an article entitled "Coming Out." <BR/><BR/>Now "the hot corner" isn't just on the baseball field, but everywhere Scott looks. He doesn't know what to do about his friendship with Travis. He especially doesn't know how to handle some of the things Travis has said to him, such as the fact that Scott has issues with being the son of divorced parents. During these next seven days, it's up to Scott to figure out how to make things right again -- both on the field and off of it. <BR/><BR/>Again, author Terry Trueman has taken a well-drawn character and put him into a realistic situation. This is another great read from one of my favorite authors, and I can guarantee you won't go wrong by picking up a copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    Good perspective from the other side.

    Ok I don't know what book that mom read but there was no sex, gay or straight at all in the book. The book offers a very unique perspective then most books about gay teens. It shows the coming out story through the eyes of his straight best friend. I enjoyed this fresh outlook, as it still deals with a lot of issue gay teen have to go through. And it's also a good baseball book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2008

    Its an ok book

    In this book it is nice beacuse I love baseball and this book is mostly about his girl friend and him. His girl friend is getting really mad at him beacuse he never spends anytime with her. So,she thinks he has to spened more time with her. And he is spending too much time on baseball. But he is saying that once I get into the major leagues we are going to be rich.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    A reviewer

    i thought it was a very good baseball book! Five Stars!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Shocked mom

    My 12 yr. old son checked this out of the school library and was shocked by the subject matter and language. The review gives no indication that the true subject of the book is gay sex and it is pretty graphic.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    Seven Days at the Hot Corner By: Trueman Terry The runner bating up he hits the first ball and wow ladies and gentlemen it¿s a homerun, Scott Latimer has an obsession for baseball becoming a professional baseball player, also having the championships in seven days. Before, of the seven days to start counting Scott has gone to the clinic to find out if he has gotten aids from his best friend known as Travis. Having a great friend next to him during the anxious days is great knowing him all his life and finding out he has been gay, while coming out of an article called coming out. Which describes the serious of a person who¿s coming out of his secrets, while he has heard the surprising news he gets an affect of seeing himself to be having aids being spread from his best friend. Having to find out from his best friend from elementary and find out he might be able to be having aids, Scott has been patient and has learned the appreciation having the life he has today. His parents being divorced and also his best friend being kicked out of his own house because of his opened secret by been gay made life more difficult for life to keep on going a steady pace. The persons¿ that might love or adore this book will be readers love sport of baseball, also the affects of an athlete. The situation of teenagers having problems with their parents being divorced, having your best friend that you have known his become another person that you have never known, their the same person, but have a different sex style.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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