Pinch Hit

Pinch Hit

4.6 25
by Tim Green
     
 

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Trevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn't be more different.

Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There's nothing he doesn't have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real.

Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball's

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Overview

Trevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn't be more different.

Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There's nothing he doesn't have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real.

Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball's Major Leagues. He's determined to get the scouts at the big USC tournament to recognize his talent. And he really wants to see his dad, a struggling screenwriter, realize his own dream.

When Sam signs up at Casting Central to make some extra money, he and Trevor come together on a movie set and see the chance to trade places—to pinch hit for each other and make everyone's dreams come true.

At first, it's all good. . . . But what happens when the boys take their game too far?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Green goes Hollywood—literally. When Trevor, a famous tween actor, comes face-to-face with the more down-to-earth Sam, who's subbing for his regular stand-in, the two quickly realize that their identical looks can't be a coincidence. Both boys are adopted, and they agree that they must be twins separated at birth. Trevor quickly figures out a way to work things to his advantage. He has always wanted to play on a real baseball team, but his mother has not allowed it, insisting that his acting career come first. Sam's father has been trying unsuccessfully to sell a screenplay, and Trevor points out that by posing as a teen idol with access to agents and producers, Sam could further his dad's career as well. So Sam steps into Trevor's rich lifestyle of limousines and scripts, and Trevor becomes the star player on the Blue Sox. It is reasonably easy for Sam to coast along for a few days, especially with the help of beautiful costar McKenna, who is in on the switch. Yet despite the hours that Trevor has spent in his personal batting cage, he soon realizes that he is nowhere close to Sam's normal level of play. Green's usual level of sports detail is diluted by all of the Hollywood name-dropping and the sheer implausibility of the story, but the author's fans will enjoy the predictable ride.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Booklist
Exciting and humorous. Many young readers will enjoy thislighthearted and fast-moving modern take on a familiar plot device, including fans of Green’s other sports novels.
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
At age twelve, child movie star Trevor lives like a millionaire with wildly famous and powerful Hollywood parents. Sam lives in a trailer near the landfill with his widowed English teacher father and longs to be good enough to attend the USC baseball training camp. Each has something the other wants. When they run into each other on the set of Trevor's newest movie, where Sam has been sent to serve as "stand-in" for Trevor, they discover that they are both adopted, and that they look enough alike to be twins. Trevor, used to getting his way in all things except what he wants most—which is to play baseball—proposes they switch places for a few days. Trevor will get to play with a baseball team in the city tournament, and Sam will be able to use Trevor's connections to get his dad's horror-movie script into the right hands—with a little help from his new movie star friend McKenna. Boys who like baseball will enjoy the detailed description of various pitches, fielding maneuvers and battings stances. The sudden ending, however, strains credibility. Trevor's parents seem to have undergone significant personality changes, along with revelations about Sam's father that seem to also be farfetched. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
VOYA - Walter Hogan
Twins separated at birth, one raised rich and the other poor, accidentally meet as pre-teens and secretly switch places ... a situation as familiar to readers of Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and C.S. Lewis's A Horse and His Boy as to viewers of The Parent Trap films (1961 and 1998) and the 1995 Olsen twins' film, It Takes Two. Green's novel drops the adult romance angle, focusing tightly upon each of his place-swapping twins, in alternating chapters. Twelve-year-old Sam Palomaki is a star youth baseball player who lives very modestly with his adoptive father, a school teacher whose dream is to have his movie script produced. Twin Trevor Goldman is a child actor whose adoptive parents are wealthy members of the Hollywood film community. When Sam accompanies his dad to a meeting to pitch his script, the boy is identified as an ideal film double for Trevor Goldman, who is currently making a film nearby. Sam and Trevor meet, soon recognize one another as possible twin brothers (each knows he was adopted) and with the aid of their cell phones (and Trevor's cute co-star) make plans to swap places for a while. Primarily a baseball story, the novel also provides entertaining descriptions of Hollywood lifestyles and the filmmaking business, all from the outsider perspective of each misplaced twin. Many of the ninty-five short chapters end on a suspenseful note, lending a hectic, roller-coaster effect, right up to the heartwarming but abrupt conclusion that leaves several plot threads untied. Reviewer: Walter Hogan
Kirkus Reviews
Two boys decide to trade places prince-and-pauper style. Trevor's a Hollywood star wishing he could play baseball like a real kid, and Sam's that real kid, whose father is unsuccessfully peddling his script. The credulity-straining plot is not new, but Green attempts to make this fantasy seem plausible by having the boys discover quickly that they may be identical twins separated at birth. Female teen heartthrob McKenna acts as Sam's advisor in Hollywood, leaving Trevor to negotiate Sam's trailer-park life on his own. Sam is a great baseball player, of course, and Trevor's main challenge is fulfilling Sam's coach and teammates' reasonable expectations. Trevor's distracted and distant parents make Sam's success at his half of the fraud a little more believable, but that he would wow the director on his first take in the blockbuster Trevor has been filming is hard to take. As is Trevor's birthday present of playing baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the fake birthmark that distinguishes the two supposedly fooling a makeup artist on the set on a daily basis. There's plenty of baseball action to distract from the flimsiness of the plot, which ends on such an unlikely note that there must be a sequel planned. Sports fiction seldom branches out into the movies, which may broaden the audience a little. Pure, escapist fluff. (Sports fiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062102003
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
131,836
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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