Green, Tim and Jeter, Derek. Baseball Genius
March 7th 2017 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Jalen would love to be on a travel baseball team, but he doesn't have the money to join. He and his Cat decide they will break into her neighbor James Yaeger's yard and steal his baseballs, which he sells because he is famous and people will give him a lot of money for the balls that he can donate to charity. They get caught, but manage to escape. Unfortunately, Cat's mom invites Yaeger to her birthday dinner, and he recognizes Jalen. Yaeger is in danger of being fired after an injury, but Jalen thinks he can help. Jalen has the crazy ability to be able to tell what pitch is going to be thrown, and Yaeger agrees that Jalen can help. There are other things going on in Jalen's life-- his father works very hard to keep the Starline Diner running, but times are hard. Yaeger agrees to tweet about the food there to help out, but after a disastrous fire, things are even dicier. Can Jalen manage to help Yaeger and his father? And what will happen to his own baseball career?
Strengths: Perfectly fine story. I liked Jalen's father, and Cat was a strong character. Good sense of place, enough baseball to keep fans happy, fast-paced story.
Weaknesses: Confused as to this partnership: Green writes plenty of baseball stories on his own. It read much more like a Green story than like Jeter's The Contract, which is much more message heavy.
What I really think: I'll buy, although I wish it were about football. Baseball players seem more academically inclined and write more books! Green's football titles are always more popular.