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Six Innings

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Overview

Two teams, six innings, one game.

 

A lively cast of characters—baseball-loving boys between the ages of eleven to thirteen—are playing the biggest game of their lives. With acrobatic catches, clutch hits, dramatic whiffs, and costly errors, this game is full of action. But as the book unfolds, pitch by pitch, a deeper story emerges, with far more at stake: Sam and Mike, best friends, are trying to come to terms with Sam’s newly diagnosed cancer. And this baseball diamond ...

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Six Innings

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Overview

Two teams, six innings, one game.

 

A lively cast of characters—baseball-loving boys between the ages of eleven to thirteen—are playing the biggest game of their lives. With acrobatic catches, clutch hits, dramatic whiffs, and costly errors, this game is full of action. But as the book unfolds, pitch by pitch, a deeper story emerges, with far more at stake: Sam and Mike, best friends, are trying to come to terms with Sam’s newly diagnosed cancer. And this baseball diamond becomes the ultimate testing ground of Sam and Mike’s remarkable friendship as they strive to find a way to both come out winners.

This is for the championship.

This is for life.

 

Six Innings is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Perceptive and funny, sketches introduce us to the players while the nail-biting action keeps the pages turning. Kids will be nodding in agreement at the truths laid bare."—The Miami Herald, picked as one of the Best Kids' Books of the Year

“Preller raises his game with this perceptive group portrait of boys who play Little League baseball. . . Kids will be nodding in agreement at the truths laid bare. If Judy Blume could write a book about Little League, about its players’ deepest fears and secret dreams, it might come out something like this.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Dishing up a rare example of a character-driven tale that is also suspenseful and exciting, the author of the Jigsaw Jones series chronicles a magnificent championship game between two Little League teams that is as much about the players as the plays.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“This is a book whose emotional pull creeps up on you, pitch by pitch. Organized around the six innings of a Little League championship game, the story will appeal to longtime fans of baseball as well as those who know nothing about the sport . . .  this is a book as much about on-the-field action as it is life lessons....Even sports veterans will savor many of Preller’s observations—especially about pitchers (e.g., “All pitchers have a little bit of rock star in them”; “It is a job for an egotist. And an optimist. No others need apply”). Like the boys on the field and in the press box, readers will feel this is a game to remember.”—Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness

"Sharing tidbits of these boys’ lives, exposing diverse backgrounds and situations, Six Innings should hit home with many readers....A tale of baseball, friendship, growth, and coming to terms with hardships, this fast read will grasp any reader who enjoys sports."—School Library Journal

“Little touches make this novel stand out from other baseball fiction aimed at younger readers . . . Do not let this title ride the pine, but make sure it has a place in your sports fiction line-up.”—Jay Wise, VOYA

 

"Following the play-by-play builds suspense and brings the reader right into the action and the special world of baseball and the people who love it."—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312602406
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Edition description: STRIPPABLE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 307,168
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 5.26 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

James Preller

James Preller is the author of the popular Jigsaw Jones mystery books, which have sold more than 10 million copies since 1998. He is also the author of Bystander, named a 2009 Junior Library Guild Selection, and Mighty Casey, his own twist on the classic poem, “Casey at the Bat.” In addition to writing full-time, Preller plays in a men’s hardball league and coaches Little League. He compares coaching kids to “trying to hold the attention of a herd of earthworms.” He lives in Delmar, New York, with his wife, three children, cats and dog.

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Read an Excerpt

Pregame

Sam Reiser's bed was pushed against a second-floor window that overlooked a stand of cherry trees. The trees on this June morning were filled with birds, chirping like lunatic alarm clocks.

Sam's first thought: Shut-up, birds. I'm trying to sleep. Second thought: Big game today. The championship game. Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies vs. Northeast Gas & Electric. Jeez, Sam thought, couldn't they give better names to these Little League teams? Why didn't they have real names, like the Cubs or the Pirates?

Three weeks short of thirteen, Sam had already played on teams called Adirondack Wood Floors, Huck Finn's Warehouse, and Dahlia's Dance Studio—with turquoise-trimmed jerseys, no less. That was about as uncool as you could get. But once the games started, Sam conceded, the names didn't matter. It would take more than a bad name to ruin a good thing like baseball.

Sam wasn't playing in today's championship game, but he would be the announcer. That had become his thing this difficult season; he was the boy in the booth, the voice in the sky, and no one dared say "boo" to him. The digital clock read 6:37. Sam had to pee. That's why he awoke, he guessed, pressure on the bladder; that, or the lousy birds who wouldn't shut-up about the brand-new day. The sun comes up, like it does every day, and those featherheads act like it's the most amazing thing in the world.

Chirp, chirp, chirp.

Big wow.

There was a buzzer rigged to Sam's headboard, one of his dad's proud contraptions, designed to make life a little easier. Just push the button and a bell sounded in three rooms of the house. Then his mother or father would come bounding into the room: "Are you all right? How can we help?!" And if Sam didn't look into their eyes—didn't really look—then it would be okay.

Sam made a point not to look in anyone's eyes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    Like the game of baseball¿this book has it all

    I read Six Innings with my sixth grader, who can't wait for baseball season to start each spring. We absolutely loved it! This book is wonderful on so many levels. James Preller captures the game of baseball and all that it means to kids 'and adults'. But it's not just a book about baseball. It's about being a kid. It's about being part of a team. It's about being a friend. Six Innings is the story of two close friends, Sam and Mike, and the ups and downs of their friendship, their families, their lives. Their story, like the stories of the rest of the little leaguers in the book, is revealed pitch by pitch, half-inning by half-inning, as a dramatic championship game is played. The baseball action is entertaining, realistic, and filled with the twists and turns that come with the game. Young readers will identify with the authentic characters and dialogue. If kids don't recognize themselves somewhere in this book, then they'll recognize kids they know. Don't think that this is 'just a baseball book' though - it is so much more. The depth of the story beyond the game and the challenges the kids face off the field will completely draw you in, too. Should be required reading at little league diamonds around the country!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(=

    SupahPoopah548.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Why

    Has any body read this

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

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