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Fenway Fever

Fenway Fever

5.0 4
by John H. Ritter

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Happy 100th Birthday, Fenway Park!

"Stats" Pagano may have been born with a heart defect, but he lives for three things: his family's hot dog stand right outside fabled Fenway Park, his beloved Red Sox, and any baseball statistic imaginable. When the family can no longer make ends meet with the hot dog stand, life becomes worrisome for Stats. Then the


Happy 100th Birthday, Fenway Park!

"Stats" Pagano may have been born with a heart defect, but he lives for three things: his family's hot dog stand right outside fabled Fenway Park, his beloved Red Sox, and any baseball statistic imaginable. When the family can no longer make ends meet with the hot dog stand, life becomes worrisome for Stats. Then the Sox go on a long losing streak and the team's ace pitcher--and Stats's idol--becomes convinced the famed Curse of the Bambino has returned. Stats just has to help . . . but how? As the Sox faithful sour on their team, Stats forms a plan that ultimately unifies an entire city and proves that true loyalty has a magic all its own.

In honor of Fenway Park's 100th birthday, baseball novelist John H. Ritter delivers an inspiring tale for the sports fan in each of us, regardless of team allegiance.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 5–8—Born with a heart defect, Alfredo Carl "Stats" Pagano has never been able to play baseball, but has loved helping his father with their Fenway Park hot dog stand and watching the Red Sox games from their family's season ticket holder seats. This year, things aren't going so well for the team. Players keeping getting injured or missing crucial game plays and fans are starting to turn on them. Red Sox pitcher Billy Orbit thinks there's a new curse starting. Something in the park has changed and caused an energy imbalance. Helping his friend to research the problem, Stats discovers that whenever the hawks get chased out of the park, the team has a bad year. Before long, however, Stats and his family start having their own problems. Stats's heart is giving out and he needs an operation. Papa Pagano is deep in debt and needs to find a way to come up with $135,000 as well as the cost of his son's operation just to keep his business going. Can Stats save his family's business and the park? James Colby's has great accents and unique voices for each of the characters eill resonate with the listeners. His transitions between humor, major setbacks, and the characters' love of baseball are beautifully done and occur smoothly without affecting the story. Avid and reluctant readers alike who enjoy baseball or mysteries will enjoy John H. Ritter's heartwarming story (Philomel, 2012).—Kira Moody, Whitmore Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—It is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, and everyone is excited for a great season, except their star pitcher, Billee Orbit. The Red Sox have finally broken the Curse of the Bambino, winning two World Series, but Billee believes there is a new curse. To help him work through it, he turns to his young friend Alfredo 'Stats' Pagano, of Papa Pagano's Red Sox Red Hots hotdog stand, a staple at Fenway since Alfredo's grandfather opened it when he arrived in America. Billee and Stats try to figure out what could have caused the new curse and how to counter it. They look into all possibilities, including the ballpark's history, Chi, ley lines, and pyramids. This discussion of mysticism could be confusing and turn off readers. Stats has other problems. He was born with a weak heart, which keeps him from playing baseball, but it can't stop his love for the game, and he is facing a difficult surgery that could help him or be fatal. On top of that, his father is facing some financial difficulties and may have to sell off the hotdog stand. Reluctant readers may lose interest in the story due to the slow pace and lack of action.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Beneath "all the festivity and hooplicity" for the 100th anniversary of Boston's Fenway Park looms a calamity no one seems to notice, but a 12-year-old fan and an oddball starting pitcher step up to the plate. The Curse of the Bambino, the 86-year curse that kept the Red Sox from winning the World Series until 2004 and again in 2007, is back. Early in the 2012 season, the Sox have gone from four games in front of the Yankees to one game back, in just 10 days. "We're not that bad of a team, Stat Man. Something else is going on," says pitcher Billee Orbitt to Stats Pagano, a young hot-dog vendor and statistics guru. There's always enchantment at Fenway Park, but there's more than magic afoot, or afloat, in Ritter's life-affirming and tear-jerking new baseball novel. Ritter is a master at capturing the nuances of the game and infusing its magic into his tales. Here, Billee figures out that "It's not the ball park that's out of whack. It's not even the team. It's the balance of nature. It's the chi," and Billee and Stats set out to restore the proper lines of energy through the sacred grounds of Fenway Park and make the Red Sox winners again. A surefire winner, full of energy and wonder. (Fantasy. 9-14)

Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
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Meet the Author

Baseball novelist John H. Ritter grew up in a baseball family. "But we were also a family of musicians and mathematicians, house painters and poets. My dad was a sports writer in Ashtabula, Ohio, who moved the family out west, just before I was born, to become Sports Editor for The San Diego Union." After high school, John attended the University of California at San Diego, where he met his wife, Cheryl, now an elementary school teacher. Like their grown daughter, Jolie, who runs her own espresso cafe, John has always preferred the self-employed life, having been a custom painting contractor for 25 years. "Even so," he says, "I always 'booked' my calendar with time to write."

In 1994, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators honored him with the Judy Blume Award for a novel in progress. Three years later, upon the sale of his first book, to Penguin Putnam, he retired from house painting and realized his dream of becoming a full-time writer. Now, he is the author of six books for young readers: Over the Wall, Choosing Sides, Under the Baseball Moon, The Boy Who Saved Baseball, The Desperado Who Stole Baseball, and Fenway Fever.

John H. Ritter lives in Koloa, Hawaii. Learn more about him at johnhritter.com.

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Fenway Fever 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I myself am a Boston Red Sox fan, but i think all sports team fans will love this book. It is a very nice book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just got this book from my school library and I can not wait to read it.