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Free Baseball [NOOK Book]

Overview

Felix knows his dad was a famous baseball player in Cuba—and that his father risked everything to send Felix to America. But his mom won’t reveal anything else. When a baseball team with Cuban players comes to town, Felix wonders if they knew his dad and sneaks into their locker room to ask. That’s when the players mistake him for their new batboy. Determined to uncover the truth about his mysterious father, Felix plays along, going as far as running away from home to become the team’s batboy. His bittersweet ...
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Free Baseball

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Overview

Felix knows his dad was a famous baseball player in Cuba—and that his father risked everything to send Felix to America. But his mom won’t reveal anything else. When a baseball team with Cuban players comes to town, Felix wonders if they knew his dad and sneaks into their locker room to ask. That’s when the players mistake him for their new batboy. Determined to uncover the truth about his mysterious father, Felix plays along, going as far as running away from home to become the team’s batboy. His bittersweet adventure glows with the friendship of a miraculous dog, the warmth of a mother’s love, and the magic of baseball.

Angry with his mother for having too little time for him, eleven-year-old Felix takes advantage of an opportunity to become bat boy for a minor league baseball team, hoping to someday be like his father, a famous Cuban outfielder. Includes glossaries of baseball terms and Spanish words and phrases.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Corbett (12 Again) delivers a solid and satisfying story about an affable 11-year-old who, as an infant, escaped from Cuba with his mother to Florida. Felix constantly laments that he knows so little about the father they left behind; but he does know that the man is a well-known professional baseball player in his homeland. A talented player himself, Felix resents that his mother, who frequently works overtime and is studying for her college degree, rarely attends his ball games. One day the boy wins tickets to a minor-league game. Hoping that one of the players might be Cuban and know his father, Felix wanders into the visiting team's locker room and is mistaken for the new batboy. In a slightly farfetched turn, Felix stows away in the luggage compartment of the team bus and accompanies the players to their clubhouse across the state. The author credibly builds the ways in which he endears himself to the players-whose long-standing losing streak ends with Felix's arrival-and to the team's big-hearted owner, who, like the boy, has suffered a great loss. The boy's mother finally opens up about the past, providing a satisfying counterpart to the contemporary baseball-focused action. Felix's yearning for a greater presence from both his parents feels palpable. The denouement may be a bit tidy, but readers, especially those who share Felix's passion for baseball, will likely want to stick with the tale till the last pitch is thrown. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Felix Piloto, an eleven-year-old living in Florida with his mother, is a baseball fan. He does not know his father who was a baseball star in Cuba. He wants to know about him but his mother is no help. Then a chance to learn something offers itself when a baseball team with a few Cuban players comes to town. Felix wins tickets to go see them play and through a series of circumstances becomes the team's bat boy. A funny poignant story about a boy looking for his roots the only way he knows how. 2006, Dutton, Ages 10 to 14.
—Maria E. Gentle
VOYA
Eleven-year-old Felix Piloto lives and breathes baseball, much to the disdain of his single mother. Since fleeing Cuba with her son, she has struggled to finish college while working long hours to put food on their table, making a neglected Felix pine for his father. Naples, Florida, has a farm team for which Felix manages to obtain tickets to the season opener. Forced to attend with an obnoxious babysitter, he manages to hide in the visiting team's locker room and is soon on their bus, mistaken for a newly hired ball boy. On this unplanned flight of fancy, Felix wants to discover more about his father, a famous Cuban baseball star. The friendly team manager, with some issues of his own, takes Felix under his wing, housing and feeding him as he learns of Felix's deception. The story wraps up nicely as the manager helps Felix and his mother come closer together, and the mystery of what happened to his father in Cuba is resolved. This story is every baseball-loving kid's dream-traveling with a team, caring for the mascot, talking baseball all of the time. The story is efficiently rendered with realistic dialogue, some in Spanish. Hi-lo readers would definitely root for this likeable hero. "Free baseball" is a term used to describe extra inning games-fans at the ballpark get more for their money-creating a perfect title for a book about a boy's love of the sport. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2006, Dutton, 160p., Ages 11 to 14.
—Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-An engaging, well-written story with a satisfying ending. As the son of a Cuban superstar, 11-year-old Felix Piloto has baseball in his blood. He would give anything to be like his father, or know more about him, but his mother won't reveal anything beyond the fact that he risked his life and career to get his wife and baby to America. While attending a local Florida league game, the visiting team mistakes Felix for its batboy. He jumps at the chance to hang out with real ballplayers and hopes to discover more information about his dad. Corbett's love of the game serves her well. The story has an authentic feel, not just in relation to the game, but to the game as it is played in the minor-league ballparks of Florida, where careers are hatched or buried. Felix's journey to discovery is sensitively portrayed, particularly as it conflicts with his mother's efforts to provide the life his father envisioned. The supporting characters are a mixed bag of those who aid Felix and those who get in the way. Baseball terms and Spanish words are seamlessly woven into the text and defined in glossaries. This book will predominantly appeal to fans of the sport, even though it is about so much more.-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Felix and his mother escaped from Cuba when he was a baby. He now lives in hope that his father, a star baseball player, will join them someday. But his mother is strangely reticent when he asks for more information about his father. Life in Florida is difficult; his mother works long hours while attending school, leaving him feeling neglected, resentful and lonely. His one solace is baseball. Circumstance, impulse and a little strategy lead to a job as a batboy for a local minor-league baseball team. He finds friends among the players and a mentor in the team's owner. He finally learns his father's real story and comes to understand and appreciate his mother's sacrifices and strength. Corbett remains carefully true to Felix's view and interpretation of events and deftly weaves a moving coming-of-age story with a sweet, satisfying conclusion. (afterword, glossary) (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440631740
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/31/2008
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 122,283
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • File size: 725 KB

Meet the Author

Sue Corbett is the daughter of Irish immigrants and grew up in a Long Island neighborhood very similar to the one depicted in 12 Again. Ms. Corbett has worked as a journalist for fifteen years in Missouri, South Carolina, Florida and, now, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and their three young children. As anyone who knows her will tell you, she really is half-Looney. However, she has only been twelve once. (So far.)


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Myestery and the magic of baseball

    If you like mystery you would like it

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 4, 2008

    great book

    I would like recommend the book Free Baseball by Sue Corbett to anyone who enjoys baseball. It is very interesting and suspenseful. I liked it because it is a book that makes you want to keep on reading. The book is boring in the beginning, but later in the book it gets very good. It is a fiction book that can grasp the reader¿s attention. It is about a kid who sneaks on a bus of a baseball team, so that he could get away from his babysitter. Later he figures out what happens to his dad and why he did not come to America with his mom and him.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Should I get?

    Schools out, my librarian Ms. Clark gives me and the rest of the kids in our class a big yellow folder with summer reading stuff. I randomly pull out a 3 page packet on summer reading sugjestions for grades 5 and 6. Im in 5th and love baseball. So this book and baseball fever are my maybes, but is it worth the coast?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 29, 2010

    Free Baseball

    Book title and author: Free Baseball by Sue Corbett
    Title of review: Free Baseball
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 5 stars

    Introduction
    I enjoyed this book, because Felix plays baseball and so do I. I had not heard about this book until I first picked it up to read. It was a very good book that made me want to keep turning pages until I finally reached the end. The book is about a boy from Cuba stored away on a boat when he was little. It starts out when he is 12. He is mad at his mom so he stows away on a baseball team's bus and becomes their equipment manager.
    Description and summary of main points
    After he got on a bus to go to the team's place, they mistake him for the new equipment manager. He accepts this job and they take him in as his own. He makes new friends including the team's mascot/dog, Homer. Everybody likes Felix's company and his time there is amazing. The owner of the team, Vic knows eventually that he does not belong there and calls his mom. He keeps Felix in his old house until his mom arrives. I'll leave the ending alone as a surprise for you.
    Evaluation
    I enjoyed this book until I reached the end. It is definitely a page turner. I could not set this book down. It is fiction but it seemed real to me and anyone would become attached to the characters.
    Conclusion
    This book is for anyone that enjoys a good read. It is an excellent book.
    Your final review
    I would recommend this for anyone that enjoys sports fictions, although I would probably recommend it for anyone. I loved this book so much I wish they would make it a series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 16, 2008

    B.O.B Free Baseball

    In 7th grade I was required to read Free Baseball for Battle of the Books. It was intriguing and suspenseful. Felix is one f the main characters in the book. He is an 11- year old Cuban, son of a famous Cuban baseball player. Felix feels neglected when his mom is to busy working and his babysitter is to busy making fun of him. To solve this problem he stows away on the player's bus after the baseball game. Will Felix ever come back home? Read it to find out!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    I picked up this book for my 12 year old son, but after reading the first chapter I got so caught up in it that I read the whole thing before I gave it to him. It is a great story about baseball - what could be better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 27, 2007

    Free Baseball:A home run!

    Felix hides on the minor league team bus and rides out of town. His mom worries that she¿ll never see him again. Felix, not even a teen, becomes a batboy on the minor league team. His distressed mother comes to bring him home. After she accepts a job on the team, she and Felix move nearby the team. I really enjoyed this book. It¿s fun and sometimes sad. This book keeps you interested at all times. I definitely would recommend it. I like how the book gives you a good idea of how a minor league ball club runs. The players don¿t get paid as much as major league players. After one game, for example, the minor league players had a picnic instead of going to a fancy restaurant. The bat boy on the team has to do a lot of jobs. He has to shag balls during batting practice, wash the players¿ uniforms, and retrieve their bats during the games. The team has a mascot, but it¿s not a person in a costume. The mascot is a dog named Homer. Homer signs autographs by putting his paws in ink and then slapping them on paper. He also delivers the baseball to the special guest throwing the first pitch for each game. I liked the different personalities of each player, coach, and the radio announcer. One of my favorite players was Santi because he¿s almost always smiling. I also liked how he was from the Dominican Republic. Therefore, he knew Felix¿s dad, who played in Cuba. The radio announcer was incredible! He was blind! His partner did the play-by-play, but he does the details and background. It was hilarious when Bobby and Masher tricked Felix into looking for a bat stretcher, when there isn¿t such thing. Felix fell for it, but later had a funny comeback. It¿s sad that Felix doesn¿t remember his father. When Felix was a baby, he and his mom crossed illegally into America. Felix¿s dad was left behind, but later tried to come, and was denied by the Cuban government. Because they live in different countries, Felix has never seen his dad play baseball. Felix¿s father is one of the best players in Cuba. Felix¿s mom has to work a lot, therefore Felix has to spend much of his time alone at home. I wish Felix could see his father in this story. Unfortunately, Felix never does. People who like baseball will like this book. You learn how life is on a minor league club. This book will also interest middle school kids because that¿s about how old Felix is. I enjoyed it and I hope you will too. S.Howard

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2014

    This is a good book!

    You should read it Jada Barefoot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Okay

    Not enough action

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Pits pirets

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Mystic Shadows

    I am Mystic Shadows. I am a female Ruje wolf Warrior. Info about them are at ruje first and second result. I am at stage tripoh. I am sandy with firey streaks everywhere looking like fire in the sun and smoke in the shadows. I have electric green eyes and am born a rune warrior. I ammysterious in ky personality.

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

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Swift

    Name: Swift Rank:Omega female Eye color:bright green Mate;none pups: none Description: Bright-eyed and playful, she is very energetic. Jetblack shewolf. Loves to explore and to swim. She is very very very curious but sometimes shy. Enjoys playing or sunning herself. Den: Agile first result.

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

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Fury

    Name: Fury/ Rank: Alpha Male/ Rune Level: OmeGosh/ Mate:Shadow/ Pups: Dusk, a jet black she wolf; Dawn, a pure white she wolf/ Siblings: Razor and Mist/ Description: a male with long sleek white fur and pure gold eyes. He has elemental runes that are purw gold.

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

    Posted December 5, 2007

    free baseball

    Felix is a baseball maniac. So when he wins tickets to a game he can¿t wait to go. But his mom says she¿s too tired to take him, so she calls his baby- sitter who makes him leave the seat he won over the radio to sit with her annoying boyfriend. So at the first opportunity, Felix escapes from the evil baby-sitter of doom. This opportunity comes when all the players on the team think he¿s the new batboy. So Felix plays along with it, and learns a shocking truth about his dad. In my opinion this book is very good. I liked it because it`s funny, but the jokes are good and not corny. It¿s extremely intriguing, always keeping you in suspense. And it so short, that you don¿t need to have a very long attention span.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews

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