*Junior Library Guild Title
Scholastic Reading Counts™ title
Having moved up to the Rising Stars League, eighth-grade fireballer Jack discovers that a 75-mile-an-hour fastball does him no good if he can't get it over the plate. Enter his big sister's new boyfriend, a college pitching coach, who offers the insight that control trumps speed. Though character development takes a backseat here, there is plenty of game action and technical details, and the way Jack only reluctantly comes around to his coach's way of thinking adds a realistic touch. The prolific Bowen serves up a baseball tale that should appeal equally to middle-grade fans and less-able older readers.--John Peters
Bowen seamlessly weaves baseball history into this story. There is plenty of baseball action to keep sports fans engaged. His character-building themes subtly unfold. Young athletes will find smooth dialogue, well-developed characters, and a storyline with which they can identify. This satisfying read is highly recommended. --Sharon Salluzzo ]
Here is a story a young athlete is sure to connect with. —Michael Sullivan, Expert on boys and readings www.talestoldtall.com
Available in hardback, paperback and E-book.
Jack throws the fastest pitches in the league, but his blazing fastballs are all over the place. He’s racking up a lot of walks instead of strikeouts. A coach tries to show him some new pitches, but Jack loves bringing the heat. Will his fastball be his downfall, or can he change his game and start winning?
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax might not have become a legend if he had relied on his fastball. His career turned around when he started to settle down and use a variety of pitches to get the batters out. Like Jack, Koufax first had to learn that there’s more to pitching than just throwing heat.
Chapter-by-Chapter Writing Prompts/Discussion Questions (45.4KB)
Aligned with Common Core Reading Standards