High Heat

High Heat

4.4 35
by Carl Deuker
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Like the game of baseball, life is quirky and unpredictable, as Shane Hunter discovers in the spring of his sophomore year. Suddenly and without warning his life of privilege is turned upside down. And just as suddenly, life begins to seem utterly without fairness or purpose to him.
Exciting, well-written sports scenes transport readers right into the stands while…  See more details below

Overview

Like the game of baseball, life is quirky and unpredictable, as Shane Hunter discovers in the spring of his sophomore year. Suddenly and without warning his life of privilege is turned upside down. And just as suddenly, life begins to seem utterly without fairness or purpose to him.
Exciting, well-written sports scenes transport readers right into the stands while complex issues engage their hearts and minds. For here is a novel of loss, of morality, and of the rare, redemptive power of baseball. Can speaking the truth really determine lives? Just how does one accept, move on, and begin doing the right thing?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Narrator Shane Hunter is the "closer" for his high school baseball team-the treasured pitcher whose job is to take to the mound in the crucial final innings of a game. Baseball is Shane's world, his identity ("I focus on home plate, the catcher's glove, and the ball in my hand. When that's my whole world, I'm in control"). But the sophomore's world is shaken when his father, who owns a luxury car dealership, is arrested for money laundering while he is watching one of Shane's games. In a rapid spiral of events, Shane loses his father, his upscale home, his entire world. Suddenly poverty-stricken, he and his mother and sister move into a tiny run-down apartment, and the kids must attend public school for the first time. Perhaps worst of all, he loses his love for baseball. In a pivotal moment of darkness, Shane intentionally hits a batter, putting him in the hospital. But as the story progresses, he and the injured boy work out their demons together, through the game that has meant so much to them both. Deuker (Night Hoops) fills the pages with dozens of exciting play-by-play sequences; these serve not only to move the story along chronologically, but also act as the metronome for Shane's personal story of loss, recovery and renewal. It is a dark story in the first half, but the arc of redemption reminds readers that love conquers all-as does the pursuit of personal excellence. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2003: From the author of Night Hoops and Painting the Black comes another successful sports story featuring a teenage athlete in crisis. Shane is an important part of his prep school's baseball team as the closing pitcher—he has a fastball few can hit. His comfortable life is transformed when his father is arrested for laundering money for drug lords, and further turned upside down when his father commits suicide. Shane, his mother, and little sister are now without any income. They sell their lovely home and move into public housing. Shane's mother gets a job, while Shane is transferred to the local high school and must baby-sit for his sister after school. Shane's anger and bitterness—his grief at the loss of his father—cause him to sneak out to be with some other teens in the projects: the boys steal beer regularly, get drunk, and then get into trouble. The probation officer puts Shane in touch with a no-nonsense baseball coach at the high school Shane now attends. This is a fairly complex story (longer than many YA novels) in which the main character goes through many changes from the beginning to the end. Several years pass (three baseball seasons). There are no sudden resolutions. For instance, when Shane gets a real break and a scout from a college comes to watch him play, Shane does a miserable job and the scout goes away unimpressed. The baseball details are absolutely believable, as is the slow maturation of Shane. Those who like sports stories will approve, and those who like stories of a teenager in trouble with the law will also enjoy reading this book. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book,recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, HarperTrophy, 345p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
VOYA
Shane Hunter, a sophomore and star closing pitcher for Shorelake High School, a private school near Seattle, seems to have it all, until his father is arrested for money laundering. Now his teammates and friends look at him differently. Shane thinks he has become a charity case and cannot stand it. Things get even worse after his father commits suicide in their suburban home. His mother is forced to sell the house and move the family into public housing. Now attending public school, Shane falls in with the wrong crowd and is arrested for shoplifting at a local convenience store. He is put on probation fixing up a baseball field at a boys' and girls' club. There he meets Cornelius Grandison, who Shane later discovers is the baseball coach at his high school. Coach Grandison becomes a father figure to Shane, helping him deal with his new life both on and off the baseball field and saving him from a pit of self-induced apathy for life. Deuker, author of other popular teen sports novels such as Night Hoops (Houghton Mifflin, 2000/VOYA August 2000) and Painting the Black (1997/VOYA August 1997), creates another captivating story. Readers will think they are sitting in the front row with a Cracker Jack(r) box and a Coke as Shane mows them down in the last inning. They will feel the emotions right along with Shane on the roller-coaster ride his life takes. Good baseball books are in short supply for teens; do not let this one slip past. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Houghton Mifflin, 288p,
— Bradley Honigford
Children's Literature
The privileged life of Shane Hunter changes with his father's suicide after arrest for laundering drug money. His stealing compounds the emotional and financial difficulties he, his mother, and sister face. After performing community service, he agrees to again play ball. Pitching against old teammates, Shane's fastball, high and inside—high heat—splinters helmet and head of Reese Robertson, whose family moved into his old home. Shane and Reese eventually help each other move beyond the beaning, but when they again face each other in a ball game, Shane strikes Reese out, becomes a local hero, and captures a college baseball scholarship. Only his catcher, Benny, recognizes that, although Shane worked his way back, Reese has not, and would avoid a high inside pitch. The book ends with Benny's hope that Reese will also eventually become the player he once was and Shane's poignant personal comment that he's the same but "different, too. Entirely different." Descriptions of tight games will satisfy baseball buffs and plot will satisfy everyone. A useful book for counselors and teachers whose curriculum includes analysis of behavior: How could Shane have positively worked through problems? What signs of denial and depression does Shane exhibit in Part Two? Why does his mother like the young man Shane more than she liked the boy? How did he feel when he took advantage of Reese's fear of a second beaning? This book is a winner! 2003, Houghton Mifflin,
— Mary Bowman-Kruhm
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Shane Hunter's life of privilege disintegrates when his dad is arrested for money laundering and commits suicide. The teen, his mother, and his younger sister are forced to move out of their palatial home and into subsidized housing in a tough part of Seattle. Shane has a difficult time adjusting, and is eventually arrested for stealing beer from a convenience store. As part of his probation, he must help repair a local baseball diamond. There, he meets the coach of his public school's baseball team, who encourages him to try out. A crucial moment comes when Shane, a relief pitcher with a blazing fastball, faces the team from his old private school. His anger rises to the surface, and he delivers a fastball directly at the head of Reese Robertson, the kid whose family bought Shane's house. Reese is hospitalized, and although Shane affects a lack of concern, he is so rattled that his pitching skills deteriorate. The rest of the novel follows his attempts to get both his arm and his life back on track, and the uneasy bond he forms with Reese. Deuker avoids easy answers in the book's ambiguous but truthful conclusion. Non-sports fans may find too many game descriptions to hold their interest, but devotees will be rewarded with a story that delivers baseball action along with a rich psychological portrait, told through a compelling first-person narration.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“A story that delivers baseball action along with a rich psychological portrait, told through a compelling first–person narration.”
School Library Journal

High Heat joins the Deuker canon with yet another fine study of a conflicted soul whose ethical salvation is determined in a sporting arena, and once more readers are left to ponder whether a tainted success loses its sweet savor.”
Bulletin
 
“Deuker fills the page with dozens of exciting play–by–play sequences; these serve not only to move the story along chronologically, but also act as the metronome for Shane’s personal story of loss, recovery and renewal.”
Publishers Weekly

“There’s enough taut sports action here to satisfy the most avid fan.”
Booklist
 
“[Deuker] creates another captivating story. Readers will think they are sitting in the front row with a Cracker Jack box and a Coke . . . do not let this one slip past.”
VOYA

Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
Shane Hunter seem to have it all—he is at the peak of his life, recognized for his gifted athleticism as a star baseball pitcher, attending an affluent school, or abundance of friends. Shane faces the harsh reality that nothing lasts forever that his life is unraveling before him during his sophomore year when his father is found to be guilty of criminal activity and everything that he owns and strives for is no longer a part of his life. He has to move, his mom gets a new job, and he starts to hang around the wrong crowd of friends. Will he be able to regain his baseball success and his old life back? His fall from grace due to a situation beyond or within his control Readers will be captivated with the gritty misfortunes Shane faces to try to reclaim his old life and go back to the past. This a splendid adventure read for sports aficionados and those seeking a story about redemption and determination. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts; Ages 13 to 15.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547528694
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/21/2003
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
474,546
File size:
676 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >