Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Six Innings James Preller
My baseball team went into a series slump last week. Losing a four game series, to a divisional rival. For those of you, who don't watch baseball its very hard to lose a four game series. Sadly I gave up hope after game three. I lost faith in my team. As a fan that's the worst thing you can do. Without faith each loss is heavier and the next win slips farther away. Then you start blaming yourself, maybe if I believed my team would win again. I was tired of wallowing in the loses and avoiding ESPN. I was going to fight for my faith back. The first step, reminding myself of the goodness that is baseball. I decided to begin with a book.
Six Innings by James Preller. Preller is the author of the early chapter series Jigsaw Jones. Six Innings is his first middle grade novel. A major league baseball game is nine innings, a little league game is six innings.
Its all about the big game. Preller doesn't waste time with the regular season or even the playoffs he gets right to it. The championship game
Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies vs Northeast Gas & Electric
Six Innings opens with 13 Sam Reiser, who would be playing if not for cancer. Though Preller doesn't reveal why Sam is sidelined until later on. He spends the little league season in the booth. Though he his pulling for Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies, Sam calls a fair and unbiased game.
Before the game begins Preller shares the teams lineup cards, including the little league special rules. Each chapter is another inning. The action is fast, the game playing out in front of the readers eyes.
"Dylan Van Zant dives for the ball but is out of reach. Carter Harris charges. He's on the grass moving fast. Carter knows there is no time to hesitate. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Green heading for home- there is no play there. And now Carter is in the Tunnel charging the baseball, and that's all the world he sees, that bouncing white globe. He is deaf to the shouts the cries from the stands. He can't wait for a good hop its now or never, do or die. Without thinking Carter bends low and short hops the ball with his bare hand "
Preller gives us a great story and doesn't limit himself to the field. We learn about the players as well. The book doesn't get overly emotional, its just the right amount for boys to enjoy.
"Mike will try to sneak away to visit Sam later if he gets a chance. It almost feels wrong that he's on the field, while Sam the better player is stuck up there. Mike checks the stands and wonders Will they come? His parents miss so many of his games. But this one is different. This time it means something to Mike."
Preller also manages to slip in some baseball history, like the 1956 world series. I loved Six Innings. It's the best middle grade baseball book I've ever read. I was telling my co workers I plan on selling Six Innings like candy. (I wasn't kidding) This book is for every boy who prefers to be on the field. Its for every baseball fan who loves the game down to the core.
Tonight, my team hit a homerun in the bottom of the 9th to tie It was 6-5 bad guys bottom of 12th. I wasn't worried, I believed again. They won 7-6. Faith is good. Baseball will always be beautiful even when its hard to watch.
I shall thank Preller, for helping me get my faith back by selling the hell out of his beautiful book, Six Innings