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Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase

Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase

4.0 1
by Matt Beam

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Darcy Spillman wonders why they call kissing a girl “getting to first base.” He knows everything about baseball and he thinks he likes Danalda Chase, a pretty girl in his class, but he knows nothing about dating. This has got to change. With help from his baseball-statistics-obsessed best friends; the new girl, Kamna; and former minor-leaguer Grandpa


Darcy Spillman wonders why they call kissing a girl “getting to first base.” He knows everything about baseball and he thinks he likes Danalda Chase, a pretty girl in his class, but he knows nothing about dating. This has got to change. With help from his baseball-statistics-obsessed best friends; the new girl, Kamna; and former minor-leaguer Grandpa Spillman, Darcy looks for the connection between his favorite sport and his new love interest. With a kiss from Danalda Chase as the goal, he steps up to bat and swings for the fences.

This sweet and funny story is perfect for every romantically challenged preteen boy.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Mary Ann Harlan
Baseball aficionados are convinced that baseball is a metaphor for life. As a true fan of the game, Darcy tests that theory as he uses baseball strategies to get to first base with Danalda Chase. Baseball should make getting to first base easy but life is not easy, and while navigating the confusing dating scene of seventh grade, Darcy is faced with a crisis at home in an opponent that his beloved grandfather cannot beat-Al Zimer. Darcy's naivete-he did not know what "getting to first base" meant, and he does not recognize his grandfather's obvious symptoms-is a little disingenuous, placing the book more as an upper grade title, falling just on the cusp of younger teens. While the obvious plot is about Darcy's attempt to date Danalda, there are several subplots that hint at depth, but they are not fully explored. Darcy's friends are drifting apart, finding new friends; he has a new and confusing friendship with Kamna Singh, a bit of an outcast herself; and finally the motivation for much of Darcy's actions is the failing health of his grandfather. It would take a sophisticated reader to grasp all the strands of Darcy's story, although the story is enjoyable, if predictable, on the surface level.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
What do love and baseball have in common? Baseball nut Darcy, a junior high student, has a crush on pretty Danalda but he doesn't know what to do about it. He decides to try to connect his two interests and make a game of chasing Danalda. Darcy gets advice from his grandfather, a former minor leaguer, but Grandpa is becoming increasingly forgetful. One day Grandpa goes missing when Darcy doesn't come straight home from school to keep an eye on him, and he has to go into a retirement home. Darcy also gets advice from the new girl, Kamna, who is of course a much better match for him than the snobbish Danalda, and from his friend Ralph, and along the way he learns about life, love and the importance of "going with your gut." The characters are introduced with illustrated "baseball cards" at the beginning, and younger YAs who are into baseball and curious about relating to girls—What happens at a spin-the-bottle party? What do you do on a date?—would be the appropriate audience for this mostly humorous look at growing up.
Children's Literature - Katie DeWald
Baseball has been life to Darcy Spillman, but seventh grade has rocked Darcy's world with change. His buddies, Dwight and Ralph, seem to have deserted the baseball field for other pastimes, and Darcy is consumed with landing a date with Danalda Chase. In his quest for the perfect kiss Darcy gets advice from some unlikely comrades: former minor league player, Grandpa Spillman, and Kamna, the new girl. Though Darcy is clueless about girls, his friends help him learn some difficult lessons about what is truly important in life and baseball. Beam cleverly introduces the book's characters through a pictorial set of baseball cards illustrating each character and denoting their major attributes. Baseball lingo, rules, and anecdotes are intertwined throughout this endearing tale of friendship, middle school drama, and a family struggling to cope with painful changes. Matt Beam will win over the baseball fanatic and the casual observer with this smart, charming book of baseball and relationships.
School Library Journal
Gr 5�8
When Darcy sees Danalda playing baseball with her friends, he notes that she has a great swing and decides she's his "newest Most Valuable Player." Darcy and his baseball buddies have entered middle school, and several factors seem to be pulling them apart. One of his friends wants to be part of the popular crowd, while another boy would rather stay home playing video games. Darcy feels angry and betrayed when his parents, stressed over Grandpa Stillman's erratic behavior, decide to move the man to a care facility. Competition for the baseball team is intense: Darcy tries out, though his chances don't look good. He decides to pursue Danalda's affections, aided by an interesting new student who offers to teach him about girls if he will teach her about baseball. Darcy is a believable character: sports-minded, immature yet likable, and a bit clueless. Readers will recognize who his real romantic interest is long before he does. The story is all just a bit too predictable. Guide readers looking for a light mix of sports and first romance to Janette Rallison's Playing the Field (Walker, 2002) for its humor and sympathetic slice of life.
—Marilyn TaniguchiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Using baseball as a guide for dating, Beam, in his U.S. debut, hits a grand-slam. When seventh-grader Darcy Spillman becomes smitten with beautiful and popular Danalda Chase, he hopes to "get to first base" with her. Of course, first he has to ask her out, and Darcy isn't sure Danalda even knows he exists. Normally, Darcy would turn to his Grandpa Spillman for advice, but Grandpa is showing the early signs of Alzheimer's. Instead, he turns to the new girl, Kamna, who suggests that Darcy should try out for the Cheetahs, his middle school's baseball team. That would certainly win Danalda's favor. Unfortunately, when the two finally go out, Danalda lives up to her reputation of being superficial, leaving Darcy unimpressed. It turns out that it's Kamna he'd rather be with. Using baseball terms as his chapter headings, followed by definitions, Beam has managed to write a story that is fresh, funny and appealing to lovers and lovers of baseball, both male and female. (Fiction. 11-13)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.73(d)
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Matt Beam lives in Toronto, Ontario. This is his first book to be published in the United States.

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Getting to First Base with Danalda Chase 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a very good book. its suitable for 7th grade boys who are into baseball and girls. its turns out that not everything turns out the way you planned