It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.
I always forget that publishers aren't really interested in providing books that my students want to read. Most of my students don't buy any books. Publishers want to make money. They want to sell books. Who buys books? Parents. Librarians. Teachers. All of these people apparently want heart rending tales of young people living through harrowing experiences. I'm not sure what this says BECAUSE (REMINDER):
Also relevant: 13 percentage of US citizens are on antidepressants . Correlation (if not causation) between people depressed and number of depressing books published? You decide.
That said, this book was decent. I was just hoping for more of a sports story and less of an issue book. I wonder what the percentage of baseball fans on antidepressants is. A disproportionate number of baseball books are depressing. (This is very similar to Shang's The Way Home Looks Now and Lupica's The Only Game. Sibling dies, surviving child can't possibly return to beloved sport. Sigh.)
June 28th 2016 by Random House/Knopf Children’s
E ARC provided by Netgalley.com
Quinnen's sister Haley has been gone for about nine months, and the family has managed to move forward, with realistic lapses where everyone tears up and can't speak. Quinnen has decided she can't go back to playing baseball, and is irritated that her mother, in an attempt to spend more time with her, keeps suggesting activities that Haley would have liked. When the family decides to take a local baseball player in for a homestay, Quinnen is pleased, even though the Bandit's player they get is kind of jerky. Quinnen hangs out with her friend Casey, although baseball games are hard because Zach, Haley's boyfriend and the person Quinnen holds responsible for her death, is working at a food vendor at the park. Told alternately in flashbacks and in the present time, we see Quinnen and her parents coming to terms with their loss and figuring out how they can continue to incorporate baseball into their lives.
Strengths: Quinnen plays baseball, which is a nice touch. There is ONLY the death of the sister, not piles and piles of sadness heaped upon the family's shoulders. There's some nice touches about the difficulties the sisters had because of the 6 year age difference, as well as some tween angst.
Weaknesses: Why not an upbeat baseball book with the drama coming from the homestay players or perhaps Casey and Quinnen falling out because one makes the team and the other doesn't?
What I really think: Will probably buy, but don't have to be happy about it. The cover saves this one, actually-- it looks the same as the new Nancy Drew and Phoebe Rivers books.