Readers of Carl Deuker’s sports stories will likely enjoy T. Glen Coughlin’s latest book.  One Shot Away: A Wrestling Story follows the narratives of three wrestlers in Molly Pitcher, New Jersey, during their senior year: Jimmy O’Shea, Diggy Masters, and Trevor Crow. Although not the typical wrestler’s build at 6’2”, Jimmy is ranked best 160 pounder in the county and slated for the Wall of Champions if he can avoid the distraction of his dad’s dastardly deeds.  Mr. O’Shea’s PhD in post hole digging, predilection for thievery, and passion for alcohol threaten to jeopardize Jimmy’s goals. At 152 pounds, Diggy is living in the shadowRead More →

Is Seventh Grade the right age to enter politics? For 12 year old baseball loving, clarinet playing Aiden Schroeckenbauer, the decision seems to be out of his hands – after a chance encounter with the new Fresh Ideas Party Presidential Candidate, Minnesota Governor Bettina Brandon, in which he not only shares his perspective on the manufacturing industry’s decline in his small hometown in Ohio, but also saves her from a falling metal sign – Aiden is recruited by the Governor and her campaign staff on their bus tour of the Midwest.  It seems Aiden’s youthful face, honest perspective, heroism, and small town values have struck a chordRead More →

Dandi Daley Mackall’s latest book for young adults, The Silence of Murder, takes the reader along on a slowly unraveling mystery about a beloved coach, murdered in cold blood; a mute, autistic teen, on trial for the crime; and a strong-willed young woman, determined to prove her older brother isn’t a killer.  Sixteen year old Hope is her 18 year old brother Jeremy’s protector, the only person who truly understands him and appreciates his unique way of being in the world.  Since  Jeremy stopped speaking at the age of 9, Hope has made it her mission in life to be the bridge between reserved, autistic, creative Jeremy andRead More →

Mike Lupica’s Hero, due from Philomel/Penguin Books in November 2010, is a variation on familiar territory for both Lupica and the teen-hero genre.  When 14 year old Billy Harriman’s dad, the globetrotting special advisor to the President, is mysteriously killed in a small aircraft crash, Billy’s world is turned upside down.  Billy had always looked up to his famous hero-of-a-dad, but also secretly wished he’d been around more, instead of always putting others, and America, before Billy and his mom.  But now that his dad is gone and never coming home, he is forced to confront the anger, resentment, and longings he’d suppressed for years. But that’sRead More →

Kurtis Scaletta’s novel about a cursed Minnesota town and its youth baseball team is a home run.  Moundville has seen 22 years straight of rain – is it a curse or just freaky weather?   Roy McGuire knows he’s in for a dreary, wet summer.  Baseball camp is over but when he returns home, he finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch. As if this isn’t weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis’s arrival, the sun comes out. No one can explain why the rain has finally stopped, but as far as Roy’s concerned, it’s time to play some baseball. It’s time toRead More →