Baseball Crazy: Ten Short Stories that Cover All the Bases

Baseball Crazy: Ten Short Stories that Cover All the Bases

by Nancy Mercado
     
 

How magical is the experience of attending your very first baseball game and hearing the crack of the bat resound throughout the stadium? What's more terrifying than being out in left field praying the ball doesn't come your way? Who better are the friends you make while playing out on that diamond?

Here are ten new fictional stories that celebrate all aspects

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Overview

How magical is the experience of attending your very first baseball game and hearing the crack of the bat resound throughout the stadium? What's more terrifying than being out in left field praying the ball doesn't come your way? Who better are the friends you make while playing out on that diamond?

Here are ten new fictional stories that celebrate all aspects of the game of baseball. And what a starting lineup! From John H. Ritter, author of The Boy Who Saved Baseball, to Newbery Award-winning Jerry Spinelli, this is a gathering of ten great authors for children, some of whom are specifically known for their writing about baseball. Featuring a story told in poems and another in a play format, Baseball Crazy is a truly diverse collection that will appeal to fanatics of the sport as well as those sitting hesitantly out on the bench. Batter up!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

There's no shortage of great writing in this collection of 10 stories. Baseball unifies the entries, but there the similarities end. From Jerry Spinelli's offbeat story about a "wiseacre wet-the-bed stinky-footed " orphan experiencing his first-ever major league game to Frank Portman's amusing two-and-a-half second journey inside the mind of ill-fated fielder Mark Pang, these entries present an impressive array of voices and styles, not to mention memorable young characters. John H. Ritter introduces Frankie Alvarez, a larger-than-life pitcher who saves his team's championship victory, a sharp contrast to Paul Acampora's Jeffrey, who earns his mother's disgust when he fails to strike out a crucial batter; meanwhile, Sue Corbett's Kirby, neither the worst nor the best, learns from the only girl on the team: "Don't think. Just react." Whether "baseball born and baseball raised" or tepid fans of America's pastime, readers will be drawn in by the masterful storytelling. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Jeanne K. Pettenati J.D.
The batter is up. The pitch is good. He swings. It is a home run! Springtime is the perfect time for these ten baseball stories which take you into the ballpark, out on the field, and into the hearts and minds of boys and girls who love to play and live for baseball. Readers will recognize many of the kids, parents, and coaches in these stories. There are the kids who play their hearts out, kids who just do not want to embarrass themselves, baseball crazy parents, absent parents, coaches that care only about winning, good sports, bad sports, and other memorable characters. The stories are poignant, funny, heartwarming, and sad, in turn. The characters and their feelings about baseball and life in general will ring true for readers. My personal favorite is "Smile Like Jeter" by Maria Testa. It is a poem narrated by a young boy who yearns to be a shortstop like his idol, but his coach has different ideas. It all works out the way it is supposed to. The anthology includes short stories, a poem, a play, and an entry about a women's softball league. Although baseball lovers are a prime audience for the book, the stories have something in them for all young readers. The universal themes (friendship, group dynamics, divorce, loss, parent/child relationships, sportsmanship) in the well written stories transcend the game of baseball. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8- These stories range from lighthearted to serious, with some focused more on character and family drama than sports action. Though the selections are brief, each one is characterized by a distinct perspective. In Jerry Spinelli's "The Great Gus Zernial and Me," an orphan is awestruck during his first visit to a big league ballgame. Frank Portman microscopically details the frantic internal monologue of a hapless outfielder in "Mark Pang and the Impossible Square." Ron Koertge's two-person play, "Riding the Pine," is compelling, while Sue Corbett's "Fall Ball" and John H. Ritter's "Baseball Crazy" delightfully blend sports action and insight. The collection includes both well-known writers (such as Joseph Bruchac) and lesser-known names (including Paul Acampora and David Rice); teachers and librarians can use these excellent stories as a lead-in to the authors' longer works. This enjoyable collection should appeal to a wide audience, including reluctant readers, and could also be an excellent read-aloud.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
All the bases are truly covered in this uncommon collection of stories that are a cut above the usual baseball fare. The authors vary considerably in their approaches and choices, and that's what makes the collection interesting. The young players and spectators who are the narrators are also dealing with family problems, growing pains, relationships and self esteem. Some stories are set in the present, some in the past. Characters are children, adults, Asian, Native American, male and female. Two of the stories involve female players who will have to give up the game they love because there are no teams for them as they reach their teens. Koertge presents a play in two acts with the team statistician as hero. Testa tells her story via a series of poems. The format of the collection is unique as well. The title page is a diagram of a baseball field with each of the authors assigned a position. The table of contents looks like a scorecard lineup. Preceding each story a baseball card gives the author's "stats," including number of books published, career highlights, favorite team and more, all in the author's own voice. A winner through and through. (Short stories. 8-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803731622
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
03/13/2008
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.84(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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