...reading all the hardcover fiction in the library, that is! Finished up last night with
Zirpoli, Jane. Roots in the Outfield. (1988)
When his father is going to remarry and wants Josh to spend the year with his new family, Josh is reluctant until he becomes unhappy with his baseball team. Josh is afraid of catching the ball; hence, the nickname "Roots", like that of a tree. Things don't go smoothly when he moves in with his father-- they head immediately up to a lake house, Josh's suitcase with all of his baseball memorabilia is lost, and his step-sister Wendy is a brat. Add to this a mysterious stranger who may be the missing baseball Slug Smith, and the transition is difficult. The stranger does turn out to be Slug, however, and he helps Josh overcome his fear of the ball and realize that while he loves his father, he would much rather be back at his old school.
Strengths: A decent enough baseball story, a little mystery, and a realistic portrayal of a boy's difficulty in dealing with divorce.
Weaknesses: A little dated. Josh's father writes him a letter once a week, and there are music and television references that would be lost on students today.
I finished up just in time for the fifth blogiversary of Ms. Yingling Reads!
In my very first post, I mentioned attempting to read all of the hardcover fiction. This morphed into writing reviews of newer books, with an emphasis on books for boys, since there are so many blogs devoted to books for girls.
My mission statement at work is "The right book for the right child at the right time." This blog is an extension of that. I try to stick with succinct reviews, a few author interviews, and some library information. I fail utterly at contests and giveaways, but hope that this is a good tool for students and teachers trying to find good books.
It's been fun. Thanks to my loyal readers for all of your support!