BN.com Gift Guide

Gold Dust [NOOK Book]

Overview

Baseball-loving seventh grader Richard has hopes of turning himself and the new kid, Napoleon, into the best baseball players Boston has seen since the Gold Dust Twins“As long as you have baseball on your side you can overcome anything.” Seventh grader Richard Moncreif is convinced baseball will ease newcomer Napoleon Charlie Ellis’s transition to life in Boston. Napoleon is unlike anyone he’s ever met: poised, well educated, and a cricket player from the Caribbean. Napoleon is one of the few black students at ...
See more details below
Gold Dust

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$7.99 List Price

Overview

Baseball-loving seventh grader Richard has hopes of turning himself and the new kid, Napoleon, into the best baseball players Boston has seen since the Gold Dust Twins“As long as you have baseball on your side you can overcome anything.” Seventh grader Richard Moncreif is convinced baseball will ease newcomer Napoleon Charlie Ellis’s transition to life in Boston. Napoleon is unlike anyone he’s ever met: poised, well educated, and a cricket player from the Caribbean. Napoleon is one of the few black students at Richard’s school, where racism is pervasive. But Richard believes that he and Napoleon can get through any hardship and become the next Gold Dust Twins, just like the famous pair of Red Sox rookies from 1975. After all, Napoleon is a natural athlete, and Richard knows everything anyone could possibly know about baseball. He just needs Napoleon to play along. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Chris Lynch including rare images from the author’s personal collection. 

Chris Lynch (b. 1962), a Boston native, is an award-winning author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including Freewill (2001), which won the Michael L. Printz Honor, and National Book Award finalist Inexcusable (2005). Lynch holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College, and teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Lesley University. He mentors aspiring writers and continues to work on new literary projects while splitting time between Boston and Scotland. 

In 1975, twelve-year-old Richard befriends Napoleon, a Caribbean newcomer to his Catholic school, hoping that Napoleon will learn to love baseball and the Red Sox, and will win acceptance in the racially polarized Boston school.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Boston Herald
This sports story transcends the genre, becoming a novel not just about baseball, but also about life.
Horn Book
Lynch's provocative novel tells a piece of [Boston's] history and the more intimate story of a transforming friendship.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
[Richard and Napolean's] tenuous friendship is one readers are bound to respect and remember.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lynch's (Gypsy Davey; Slot Machine) latest novel is set in 1975 Boston, when the Gold Dust Twins, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, play for the Red Sox and school bussing has begun. Seventh-grade narrator Richard Riley Moncreif sees the world in terms of the snap, crackle and pop sounds of the baseball hitting his Adirondack. That is, until Napoleon Charlie Ellis arrives at his Catholic school from the Dominican Republic and opens Richard's eyes to another set of rules on the playing field. Lynch's best passages concern Richard's passion for the game, as when he describes Fred Lynn's stroke ("Some people see what I'm talking about in ballet or in the shapes of sculpture . I see it in a flawless, speedy and powerful swing of a baseball bat in pursuit of a ball"). But the chapters do not flow easily between the almost poetic baseball scenes to the building of Richard and Napoleon's rocky friendship. The author introduces several provocative situations that go unexplored, such as Napoleon's offhand comment about his professor/poet father ("We function in our own worlds, even though we live in essentially the same place") and the tension that results from Napoleon being black and more affluent than Richard's white working-class family. But baseball fans will not be disappointed; Lynch's acute understanding of the way a person's passion colors his view of the world results in a credible, sympathetic protagonist, and the novel's denouement is as honest as it is heartbreaking. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
Two seventh-graders begin a tenuous friendship in 1975 Boston, when the Gold Dust Twins play for the Red Sox and school busing has begun. "Several provocative situations go unexplored, such as the tension that results from Napoleon being black and more affluent than Richard's white working-class family. But baseball fans will not be disappointed, and the novel's denouement is as honest as it is heartbreaking," wrote PW. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Richard Moncrief LOVES baseball. He is the best hitter in the school and will play against anyone. To top it off, the Gold Dust Twins (Fred Lynn and Jim Rice) will be hitting for the Boston Red Sox when the season starts. Richard doesn't think about any thing but baseball, that is, until Napoleon Charlie Ellis shows up. Napoleon isn't like the other kids at St. Colmcille's. He dresses differently, he shakes hands with people, he's from a different country and he's black. The story takes place in the seventies where students were being bussed to integrate schools, and to many of the students in Napoleon's class, a black classmate is not welcome. All Richard notices is that Napoleon can hit. Richard begins to teach Napoleon how to play baseball and imagines the two of them as the next set of Gold Dust Twins. The story takes a serious turn when other students threaten Napoleon when he begins to date a white girl in the class. Richard is forced to pay attention to more than just baseball. Napoleon has to teach Richard about what it is like to be on the other side in a prejudiced society where some people are looked at as not good enough. Even in the game of baseball, all is not equal. The characters in this story are easy to relate to and realistic, and the story is easy to read. However, unless you are a baseball lover, some of passages can be confusing and the setting of the story isn't clear until about halfway through. 2000, HarperCollins, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Heather Robertson<%ISBN%>006028174X
VOYA
Disguised beneath the theme of baseball, this novel explores racism during the 1975 forced busing to desegregate the Boston public schools. Richard Riley Montcrief, a seventh grade baseball apostle and longtime St. Colmcille's student is the only child of a Midas Muffler employee. Richard is aware that his station in life excludes fancy restaurant dinners, but he does not notice entitlements afforded him for being white. Upon meeting Napoleon Charlie Ellis, a black student newly arrived from Dominica, Richard sees his opportunity to save a lost soul through indoctrination with his baseball-centric world view. Planning to be the next baseball great Fred Lynn, Richard wants Napoleon to be the next Jim Rice—creating baseball's next Gold Dust Twins. New white students attending St. Colmcille's to avoid desegregation resent Napoleon's presence. Richard, working to diffuse tension, wishes Napoleon would ignore some nasty remarks. Eventually he understands Napoleon's compulsion to confront racism, but he cannot fathom Napoleon's dreams that exclude professional baseball. Lynch succeeds in depicting the nuances of racism that readers might have failed to discern in Blood Relations (HarperCollins, 1996/VOYA August 1996) of his Blue-Eyed Son Trilogy (1996). He tells a complicated story through the limited understanding of his narrator, Richard. Impressed by Napoleon's father, a Boston University professor of Caribbean Literature and French language, Richard manages to avoid introducing his own father—for whom having a drink in the shower is doing two things at once. The educated, monied, and mannered black father-son pair contrasts well against Richard's family. Simply told, Lynch'slatest will please young baseball aficionados while offering a deeper subtext. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, HarperCollins, 196p, $15.95. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Cynthia L. Blinn

SOURCE: VOYA, December 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 5)

KLIATT
It's 1975, and seventh-grader Richard Moncreif, a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, anxiously awaits a break in the winter weather to begin training for baseball season. When he meets Napoleon Charlie Ellis, a new student from Dominica, he envisions their becoming the new Gold Dust Twins, following in the footsteps of the star Sox rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. As Richard executes his plan with Napoleon, he realizes that there are obstacles to realizing his dream. First, although his baseball talent blossoms, Napoleon's main interests lie in music and cultural events foreign to Richard. More subtle is the daily undercurrent of racial tension that Napoleon faces, but which Richard is slow to acknowledge. Richard finally comes to understand that forces beyond their control affect their relationship. Lynch's story unfolds through Richard's eyes and readers become aware of racism much as Richard does, through the words and actions of those around him. This book has special appeal for the young athlete who has dedicated himself to his sport and for baseball fans in general. Selected as an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for YAs, Gold Dust treats the sensitive issue of interracial friendship openly and honestly. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2000, HarperTrophy, 196p.,
— Michele Winship
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This novel contains some of the best sports writing readers will ever find in a YA novel. Seventh-grader Richard Moncrief, a working-class baseball fanatic, befriends an unusual transfer student. Napoleon Charlie Ellis is from Dominica, plays cricket, speaks grammatically perfect English, and is one of the few black students at their Catholic school in Boston during the 1975 school busing controversy. Richard's dream is for the "Gold Dust Twins," rookies Jim Rice and Fred Lynn, to help the Red Sox win the World Series. His other dream is for Napoleon and himself to become the next Gold Dust Twins-with Richard's knowledge of baseball and Napoleon's natural athletic ability, it's inevitable. Unfortunately, he fails to understand or take into account his friend's dreams, which are very different from his own. Supporting characters are well drawn, with Beverly as a strong female classmate and Butch, the main antagonist. Students unfamiliar with the racial tension of the era may find some references hard to understand. Readers probably won't be familiar with members of the 1970s' Boston Red Sox either, but if they love baseball, it won't matter. True sports fans will identify with Richard's vivid descriptions of the game.-Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The versatile author of Gypsy Davey (1994) and the Blue Eyed Son trilogy weaves a subtle, challenging study of star-crossed friendship. Richard Riley Moncrief likes his life, but loves baseball, both for the joy of hitting a ball a mile, and the delicious anticipation that this season, 1975, will belong to the Red Sox, with their new rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, the Gold Dust Twins. Into his complacent world walks cultured, quiet Napoleon Charlie Ellis, newly arrived from Dominica with his college-professor father. Sure that his baseball dreams are big enough for two and bright enough to wash out color differences, Richard rides roughshod over Napoleon's stiff manners and professed preference for cricket. He teaches him the rudiments of hitting and pitching (at which he shows marked aptitude), and urges him to make the effort to get along, to fit in, to ignore the racist remarks of their school's newly bused-in students. Napoleon, though, is not a compromiser. Through Richard's uncomprehending eyes, readers will see Napoleon's pride and anger clearly, his feelings of dislocation, and his sharp awareness of racial tensions. In the end, the fragile trust that grows between these two seventh graders is shattered when Richard drills Napoleon with two pitches in a row, an accident, Richard swears, but enough of a betrayal to drive Napoleon into accepting a scholarship to another school. Reminiscent of Jerry Spinelli's Crash (1996) for the gulf of misunderstanding—wide, but not too wide for readers, at least, to peer across—between the main characters, this offers no glib insights or easy resolution. But maybe, just maybe, Richard is a bit more aware at theendthat others have dreams, too. (Fiction. 11-13)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[Richard and Napolean’s] tenuous friendship is one readers are bound to respect and remember."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[Richard and Napolean’s] tenuous friendship is one readers are bound to respect and remember.”
The Horn Book
"Lynch’s provocative novel tells a piece of [Boston’s] history and the more intimate story of a transforming friendship."
(boxed) - ALA Booklist
"Lynch captures the thrill of the game and an athlete's intense physical and mental concentration with freshness and joy."
Boston Herald
"This sports story transcends the genre, becoming a novel not just about baseball, but also about life."
The Horn Book (starred review)
“Lynch’s provocative novel tells a piece of [Boston’s] history and the more intimate story of a transforming friendship.”
ALA Booklist (boxed)
“Lynch captures the thrill of the game and an athlete's intense physical and mental concentration with freshness and joy.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“[Richard and Napolean’s] tenuous friendship is one readers are bound to respect and remember.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480404564
  • Publisher: Open Road Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 1,148,017
  • File size: 924 KB

Meet the Author

Chris Lynch (b. 1962), a Boston native, is an award-winning author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including Freewill (2001), which won the Michael L. Printz Honor, and National Book Award finalist Inexcusable (2005). Lynch holds an MA from the writing program at Emerson College, and teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Lesley University. He mentors aspiring writers and continues to work on new literary projects while splitting time between Boston and Scotland.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Gold Dust


By Chris Lynch

OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA

Copyright © 2000 Chris Lynch
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4804-0456-4



CHAPTER 1

SHORTCHANGE


Napoleon Charlie Ellis showed up just after Christmas. When he landed here there was almost a foot of snow on the ground. When he took off from Dominica, there probably was not.

That was the first shortchanging he got. The second was that they shoved him back down into seventh grade when he was supposed to be in the eighth. Language problem was what they were talking about. What language did you speak back home in Dominica, I asked him. English, he told me, and told me in some pretty fine English, I must say. So I didn't quite get why they did that. Anyway.

"They announced my name when I came in," he said to me. "So you have the advantage of me."

"Huh?"

"What is your name?"

"It ain't half what your name is."

"Ain't?" Napoleon Charlie Ellis asked me, sounding very surprised. My ain't never surprised anybody in the past. Mr. Ellis apparently expected Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Hub of the Solar System, Athens of America, to be an Ain't-Free-Zone. It would be my job to enlighten him.

Richard Riley Moncreif, I told him. Ain't it purdy? I added. I was loaded with confidence that day, and lots of days before then too. Meeting people, talking to people, mixing ... I never had any problem with that the way a lot of people do.

Napoleon Charlie Ellis stuck out his hand, right there in the boys' bathroom, and after a small pause I stuck out mine. My hand.

It was an excellent shake, kind of formal, kind of hard, little bit of challenge, little bit squeezy. I had very little experience with the handshaking bit since it was never really much of a thing in my circle, and I never figured it to be all that crammed with meaning, the way grown men take it so seriously. But if I wanted to try thinking that there was more to it than a couple of guys trying to show each other how firm their grip was, I might have thought, this feels like the hand of somebody I could like.

But I didn't want to try thinking that. Don't make things more complicated than they should be would be my philosophy if I had one. So.

It was a fairly tough grip to match squeeze for squeeze if it came down to it. That was what I thought mattered about the handshake of Napoleon Charlie Ellis.

He was well known before he knew it, his story circulating through our little population before he did. He was not a full year older than me, despite the being kept back thing, which they could call lots of other things but we recognized as being kept back. I was on the old side of seventh and Napoleon was on the young side of eighth, so we were pretty close anyhow. I'm sure he recognized that and that was one reason we became friends so quickly. And I was a little bit taller too, so he could respect me, even if this was only my first run-through of the seventh grade.

"I do wish you wouldn't do that," he said to me.

"Do what?"

"Making the jokes. About my getting reversed. I don't care for it. I can forget about it when you don't mention it, since there is nobody here who knew me when I was in eighth grade, but when you bring it up, I am reminded. I don't care to be reminded."

Which was, I guess, the third part of the shortchanging of Napoleon Charlie Ellis. All his people were somewhere else.

"I'll stop," I said. Napoleon had a very smart face. Could make me appreciate things I couldn't manage on my own. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you wanted out of a guy. Mostly, I was happy enough knowing what I knew, and doing what I did. So this was a thing that we'd have to keep an eye on.

But as long as he had me looking, what did I know about being removed from my everything? That was for sure something Napoleon had that I didn't. All my people were right here around me, always were and always would be. I had what and who I needed right here. Mine was that kind of neighborhood, that kind of life. "I'm sorry," I said, mostly just to make the thing go away. "I'll stop."

"Yes, you said that," he said.

See there, he could have said, okay, cool, Richard. Great. He could, and obviously did, notice that I felt bad enough to repeat myself. Could have let me off easier then. So what did he do instead? Pointed it out to me, that I had repeated. Threw a spotlight on it. Cold spot. And that was the way he did things. Letting a guy off was not his way. Like if I made a mistake with him I had to feel it twice, as if I couldn't really get it the first time. Frankly, I didn't understand why a guy should be that tense.

"Oh right, well I just repeated myself because I know you have that problem with the English and all."

Times like this, a joke at just the right moment can really smooth things ...

"Where are you going, Napoleon? Come back, wouldja please just ..."

Did I ask for this? Was I looking for this? Did I go following anybody into the bathroom to spark up a friendship? No, I did not. I was minding my own business, doing just fine, marking off days on the calendar until baseball season started. Next thing I know I'm chasing a guy out of the bathroom to patch things up. Makes no sense. If I ran things, nobody would have names. We would just have batting averages. Then there would be no misunderstandings.

In the meantime, Napoleon Charlie would not get shortchanged by me at least.

"I'm sorry," I said, catching him at the foot of the yellowed marble steps of the school basement. "I didn't mean anything. I swear."

His face remained rigid, only slowly and slightly softening. Then he nodded.

"So, what's your batting average?" I asked.

He let his face freeze again, then headed up the stairs.

"What?" I said, following. "That one wasn't a joke. That was a real question. Jeez, man, you eat a box of nails for breakfast, or what?"

CHAPTER 2

HARD DOWN THE MIDDLE


I am not a scientist.

And I'm not a poet or a bishop or a musician or an architect or a statesman or a television repairman.

Lots of things don't make sense to me. The solar system, for one. God. Evolution, the piano and anyone who plays it, and the Red Sox not winning the World Series even one time since 1918.

These things are unexplainable.

Here's another. A city where the people dislike each other so much that the court had to force the different kinds of kids to sit together in school. Where people throw rocks and try to tip over school buses. Where the mothers of some students show up on the news at night and they are screaming the most horrible things they can think of at the kids on the buses. And then one of those same mothers comes on the interview to say it's not about hating anybody.

I'm fairly certain in that case that I do not understand what it is about. I'm not even close. And it hurts my head to try, so I don't.


"You see this?" I say to Butchie, holding my baseball bat high in the air like Thor with his hammer. "I am going to take this, and I am going to hit that ball, out into that patch of bushes in left."

It is that simple. And it is true. I know it and Butchie knows it. It is a beautiful, simple fact.

"Hard. Down the middle, Butch. That's what I want."

"Anybody can hit that, Richard. Big deal."

"No, anybody cannot hit that. You, for example, can't hit that."

"Can."

"Can't. I'm talkin' hard. Crank it up and let it go. You can start throwing me your junk in another week or two. I'm not gonna mess myself up trying to hit live balls two months before anybody even wants to play a real game. But you can throw it just as fast as you want. I only want to swing the bat and hit the ball. Hard, and hard. Simple."

I love every bit of it. I love the sound. The sound of the ball approaching, whistling, if it's thrown with the right snap. The sound of my bat whipping around, again, a sort of whistle in there. But above all ... of course. Above all what I love is the sound of my bat hitting his ball. I can hit it. I can hit any one.

I don't do a lot of bragging. But I do my share. It's just part of the game. A fun part. Anything that adds fun to the game is okay anyway, and doesn't do any harm as long as you're not a jerk about it. So I can talk a little, when the opportunity arises.

It doesn't arise all that often when I'm playing basketball. I'm okay at basketball, but just as okay as a zillion other guys. Or football, at which I am better than basketball, but not better than, say, a billion other guys. Or hockey or skeet shooting or Tae Kwan Do, all of which I have tried and none of which I have embarrassed myself at, but neither have I set the world on fire with.

But I can hit a baseball.

Can throw one too.

But I can hit a baseball. I understand hitting a baseball.

"Pitchers are always ahead of hitters in the first weeks, Butchie, so it won't prove anything for you to snap a curve past me in February, will it?"

"Might not prove anything, but it'll sure feel good."

Butchie grins. He's got a good, intimidating pitcher's grin, to go with a very stretched-out body and great wing-span that both give him excellent leverage and the appearance of being even faster than he is. He's tough enough too, in that desperate way pitchers need to be.

I stand in there, scratching hard into the frozen dirt of the petrified batter's box with my spikes. Butchie keeps grinning, leans back, and back and back, then comes over the top, and over and over, and finally reaches his perfect release point and lets go of the first pitch of the 1975 baseball season.

It whistles. It is such a beautiful thing, the sound of it, the east-west spin—which I can pick up easily in the superior clarity of winter's air—that I am almost too excited to react properly to the pitch until ...

I drop to the ground, flopping hard on my back an instant before the ball nails me in the head.

"If you can't stand the heat ..." Butchie says, blowing warm steaming air through his pitching hand.

Could've told you he was going to do that.

I do love this game.

CHAPTER 3

COMMUNITY


According to Napoleon, his mother chose to send him to St. Colmcille's for the sense of community.

I squinted. "Community," I repeated, in a way that was not a question, exactly, but did communicate confusion.

"Catholic community," he pointed out.

"Catholic," I said. "So you're Catholic? Huh. Go figure."

Napoleon shook his head at me. Already not an unusual reaction. "Yes," he said, "go figure."

I should have been getting used to imports of new types to the school by now. Up until my sixth grade year it was nearly unheard of for anybody to come to this school by any other method besides on foot. Neighborhood school, and all. It was a nice school, comfortable old building, big playground, couple of trees splashed around, Garcia's Superette, which sold everything smaller than a car, right on the corner. But it was probably not unlike loads of other parochial schools all over the place. Same uniforms, same Pledge of Allegiance, same boring subjects, same Jesus. So there was never any reason for folks to go to any great trouble to send their kids across the city any distance to get here.

Until the busing thing. Kids crisscrossing the city to go to public schools. In other neighborhoods.

Other people's public schools.

And that's when the "community" thing got big. It was all over the papers. People were defending their "community schools" as something sacred. So lots of people bailed out and started sending their kids to Catholic schools. For the community. No matter how far away the community happened to be. I had to wonder if I just didn't know what the C word meant, or if somebody was changing it.


"What time is it, boys?"

"Oh no, please, not this."

"Come on, Manny, what time is it?"

Manny sighed. Glen stared at me very serious, like a teacher. "Can't you talk about anything else?" Glen asked. Glen was about the sharpest guy we had. Knew all kinds of things. Most of which I figure a person doesn't really need to know. "There are lots of other things worth thinking about."

I gave him back the look. "No there ain't."

Manny lifted the top of his flip-top desk and made like he was disappearing into it. Glen just shook his head and returned to reading.

Napoleon Charlie Ellis entered the room and sat in an empty seat behind me. "Hello," he said to me.

"Hey," I said. "I'll ask you, then. What time is it?"

Napoleon looked deeply puzzled. He peered up at the very big and obvious white moon-face clock hanging at the front of the room.

"Aw," I said, "if you have to look at the clock, you're lost."

"I do not understand ..." Napoleon started.

But Manny couldn't take it anymore. "It's freakin' Freddie time!" he blurted from inside his messy desk.

"Yesssss!" I said.

Freddie time.

Gold Dust time.

We had been waiting for this for a long time. Since 1918, to be exact. The arrival of Fred Lynn and Jim Rice to the Red Sox major league club. Everyone who knew the game knew that Lynn was going to be the best, ever. And that Rice was probably going to be the second best. The papers had already been calling them the Gold Dust Twins, the best pair of rookies ever to come along to one team in the same year. I had been charting their progress through the minor leagues since the Sox signed them, and finally, this was their year. And today. Today was the glorious first day, the ritual, where the huge eighteen-wheeler equipment trucks were packed up and dispatched to Winter Haven, Florida. Spring training. Every newscast in town showed footage of the trucks heading off. It was breathtaking.

Fred Lynn. My man. Breathtaking.

Jim Rice. Breathtaking.

Finally. Hallelujah.

"Excuse me?" Napoleon asked.

I ran through the whole scenario again. Happily. I half-hoped he would ask me to do it again.

"Oh," he said instead. "Baseball. I'm sorry, I don't follow baseball. I play cricket."

My turn. "Excuse me?"

He shrugged.

I had never even heard of this condition before.

"Everybody likes baseball," I pointed out.

"No, actually," he said politely but firmly. "Everybody does not."

Both Manny and Glen started laughing at this. Not loud mocking laughter, but the low, teasing, challenging kind. "So," Manny said in his exaggerated accent, "Meester Beisbol, whatchu gonna do about thees?"

I looked at Napoleon behind me, then over to Manny, then back to Napoleon. "I'm going to help him," I said calmly. "He needs help."

"I need no help, thank you."

"You'll be happier...."

He scowled at me. "I am quite happy."

"Look," I said. Napoleon was turning out to be a kind of challenge, like a sneaky tough pitcher who kept making me hit fouls, and I had to figure him out. "These guys here were new once. They listened to me, and look at them now."

Glen gave a little embarrassed wave, and Manny a big, smiley one. It would be hard to notice now, but they really were raw material when the two of them moved in over on Fortuna Avenue five years ago. They didn't need a whole lot of work since they came from Cuba, where Louis Tiant came from, so baseball was already wired into them. But that didn't mean they hadn't come a long way, although I might have stretched it to say they did it by listening to me. Stretched it only a little, though.

As long as you have baseball on your side, you can overcome anything.

I just sort of hung there, turned around in my seat, smiling very friendly at Napoleon, like I was some kind of ambassador or something. He did not smile back. He did not do anything that I could tell. He was flunking.

"So then, the goal is to be like you? That is the key to happiness?"

I hadn't thought of it exactly that way before. Not in those very words. But hearing them now ... I didn't know. A guy could do a lot worse.

I apparently had dwelled on this for a while without answering. "Turn around please," Napoleon said coolly.

"Call me when you need me," I said.

My concentration had been broken for too long now anyway. This was not like me, in late winter, sitting at my desk in school, before the start of lessons. I had to focus.

Fred Lynn....

Fred Lynn....

Fred Lynn....

CHAPTER 4

SNAP CRACKLE POP


The temptation is to say that it's a sound like nothing else in the world. But that wouldn't be true. There are variations on the sound that I make when I hit a ball with my bat just right, and all those variations have relatives out there in the non-baseball world.

There is the crack. It sounds so much like the sound a tree trunk makes when an old maple goes down that you have to take cover just in case. Jim Rice is already getting famous for the crack. They say that even coaches who have been in the game for forty years flinch when Rice cracks the ball like he does. When I hit a ball and it goes crack, that is as good as I can hit it. It might not be a home run because maybe I didn't get under it enough and it's a line drive, or maybe I got under it too much and it's a sky-high fly ball, but whether the thing gets out or not I am one happy and satisfied ballplayer because here is a secret I can share: I don't care a ton about scoring runs or winning games. What I care about is hitting a baseball.

Baseball is not about teamwork, no matter what anybody says. It is about pitching and catching and hitting a ball. Especially about hitting a ball. And all of those things get done by one guy alone. Baseball is a selfish game. I don't mind that. That's why it works.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Gold Dust by Chris Lynch. Copyright © 2000 Chris Lynch. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Shortchange,
Hard Down the Middle,
Community,
Snap Crackle Pop,
Seventeen Squared,
Sting,
Girl 17,
Mulligatawny Soup,
Winter Haven,
Foreign Territory,
Not Cricket,
There but Not There,
Gone Bananas,
Impossible Dream,
Real Spring,
Yard Dogs,
A Higher Calling,
Gold Dust,
I Swear,
A Biography of Chris Lynch,

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    Gold Dust

    Gold Dust was a good book. I recommend it to grades 6-9. It was entertaining and enjoyable. Chris Lynch did an exceptional job.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 26, 2003

    superb book

    this book is great everyone should read it the characters are interesting to read about the author is great

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 4, 2001

    Hey everyone I tink Chris Lynch is a great person & author and you should take my advice & read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Ebony an Co.

    ((I want her family to be in it too and can she own the wwe too?)) Name:Anabel Maria Enderson call me that and die age:20 persona:She is love with Jeff when she entered the wwe she won the '06 divas search contest with her sister Katy she is brothers with Kane and Undertaker looks:6'0 tan skined woman who can run at the speed of light she has a tatoo on her neck that says I am A beliver in god has black hair but always dyes a differnt color like Jeff other:has magic healing powers and is a vampire/werewolf hybrid they are in a prophecy i anit telling you till part 4 ring name:Dragon tag team:Ice((Katy)) sig:Dragon&psi ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Name:Kathleen Darcy Enderson I like Katy better age:same as Ebony persona:She is the exact oppiste of Ebony and she is the famous singer known as Katy Perry and is the dicetor of operationsshe lives a quiet life at home and she wants to be with her sister all the time looks:Ebony's twin sister! Sig:Ice&hearts Ring name:Ice family:Ebony Daniel Joesph other:ask me+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Name:Daniel Quincy Enderson age:35 persona:like Kane but when he is not in the buliding he is always at home as the new co-dierector of operations Ebony is looking into firing him or have demoted to wrestler ring name:Kane(duh!) Other:ask me sig:Kane&Psi ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Name:Joesph Mark Endrson age:37 persona:like undertaker but not in the ring he rasies 3 kids along with his wife their names are:Faith Marucs and Gina ring name:Undertaker(obvious!) Other:ask me sig:Undertaker&Psi((thanks for reading!!!!!))

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

    Posted November 15, 2013

    To ebony

    Sure! How do you wamt her to be portrayed

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

    Posted February 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)