Written by daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, The Hero Two Doors Down by Sharon Robinson, recounts the historical fiction tale of tumultuous times of global, racial, cultural, and religious unrest in the late 1940s.  Because of its inspirational message about the need to depend on faith, family, and friends during the worst of times, contemporary readers will find this story of friendship and unity especially relevant as Martin Luther King, Junior’s 87th birthday approaches. In 1948, Steven Satlow is eight years old, and a train ride to Ebbets Field costs five cents each way.  Because Steve is the shortest kid in his class andRead More →

Twelve year old Peter Lee and his family are avid baseball fans. Even his strict Chinese immigrant father Ba -who has Peter do homework on the way to games- has some regard for the sport. However, once tragedy strikes, and takes with it a cherished loved one, no one talks about baseball anymore. Peter’s mom stops talking altogether. Convinced that what brought them together before can keep them together now, Peter joins a Little League team. The only problem? The league is short one coach. Ba steps in to seemingly save the day, but his methods rub Peter and his teammates the wrong way. Now whatRead More →

John Feinstein puts you in the heart of the game.  Doesn’t matter if it’s the baseball field, the basketball court, or the football field, when you open up the pages of one of his books, you are in the center of the action with the thrill, the agony, and the controlled chaos of sport whirling around you.  Years of sports experience, finely honed descriptive skills, and a gift for storytelling combine to make Feinstein’s young adult novels captivating, action-oriented, and worth reading whenever you can get your hands on one. In The Walk On, out this Fall from Knopf, we meet freshman Alex Myers. His folksRead More →

As proven time and time again, Mike Lupica has the talent to get the reader right into the action: whether it’s on the court, on the diamond, or on the fifty yard line, there’s a visceral, in-the-moment, hard-hitting feeling to all of Lupica’s sports-action sequences.  The pulse-pounding, bone-crunching, split-second action on the football field in QB 1 is yet another example of how skillfully Lupica can make a reader (even a girl who’s never touched a football) feel what it’s like to be the quarterback, in the pocket, waiting for an opening, dodging a hefty tackler, hoping to make the down and move the teamRead More →

Ok, I am so glad to be a vegetarian.  All those terrible things that I could imagine happening at massive feedlots, huge industrial slaughterhouses, and behind the guise of corporate “farming”, happen in Paolo Bacigalupi’s nightmarish comedy Zombie Baseball Beatdown.  Milrow Meat Solutions processes enough beef to feed people in seven states, which means acres and acres of cows packed into feedlots in filth and excrement up to their bellies, a plant the size of a small city that employs vast quantities of undocumented workers who, for 24 hours a day, race to process thousands upon thousands of cuts of beef, and a research andRead More →

The story of Sasquatch in the Paint, written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld, is one that the majority of us can relate to. We were all once that awkward kid in junior high trying to find a place to fit in, whether it was a position in the status quo or not, we all just wanted to have friends to sit with at lunch. In the seventh grade Theo had thought that he would forever be one of the nerds on campus, he and his best friend Brian had recently joined the Brain Train and could not be happier. The Brain Train was aRead More →

In Foul Trouble, veteran sports journalist and best-selling novelist, John Feinstein, takes an unflinching look at the cut-throat process of collegiate recruiting top student talent.  Feinstein pulls back the curtain to reveal a shadow world that is rarely seen by the general sports fan and it’s not a very pretty:  a subculture packed with unscrupulous people who latch onto these young athletes hoping to make millions on the kids’ talents; high stakes ultimatums and heavy amounts of pressure to go with the “highest bidder” even if its against NCAA rules and one’s own better judgment; and a dizzy array of media attention, drugs, swag, andRead More →

12 year old Lenny “the boy with the golden voice” loves hanging out on the couch with his best friends and announcing the play-by-play for the games of his beloved hometown team, The Philadelphia Phillies. When he wins the chance to do it for real, as the “Armchair Announcer,” for one inning of an upcoming game, Lenny knows this is the future for him.   Surely it will be the chance he’s been waiting for: to be noticed and recognized for his skills, both by major league pros and by his own, self-obsessed, work-aholic parents. But the game goes wrong before Lenny’s chance to announce:Read More →

If there was ever a character about whom you could say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, it would have to be Harrison Johnson in Tim Green‘s latest, Unstoppable.  Harrison is only 13 years old, but in his short life he’s already faced abusive foster parents, beating and intimidation from his fellow foster kids, a system set up to break him down, and the realization that his own mother will never be able to care for him like  a mother should.  When he catches a break and gets away from his most abusive foster family yet and lands in the loving, peaceful home ofRead More →