For many people April means poetry month, to me its one month closer to the baseball season. I wanted to do something special this year in honor of the upcoming season. After thinking about it for awhile, I got this idea in my head that I would do a an Around the Horn chat (infielders only) with 6 authors who wrote baseball novels I loved.
When I got to Linda Sue Park's Keeping Score, I said "uh oh" because that was book number seven.
Here are the first seven titles I thought of -
1 Prince of Fenway Park by Baggott 2 Six Innings by Preller 3 The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Cochrane, 4 Mudville by Scaletta, 5 Brooklyn Nine by Gratz, 6 Comeback Season by Smith and 7 Keeping Score by Park
If you've read just two of those titles you know why it never crossed my mind to knock it down to six. After deciding to add two more books, I quickly thought of Change up Baseball Poems by Fehler. I thought poetry would be a perfect fit at short stop.
Just one more book. I realized, I needed a catcher. My first thought was Deuker. He writes some of the best MG and YA sports novels. I did a quick search and sure enough Deuker wrote a YA novel called Painting the Black.
Now that I had all the authors and titles I wanted to include, there was one small thing, getting the authors to say yes. When I sent out nine individual request on a Sunday, I had no idea what was going to happened. By that Wednesday, all the authors confirmed.
I was surprised and very excited. It took much well power not to talk about this earlier and squeal with joy.
The Line Up
1 Change-up: Baseball Poems by Gene Fehler SS -
This was my 2009 Cybils choice for poetry. Check out this nice review at My World - Mi Mundo. Baseball fans will love this collection of poems.
2. Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park 1st
In this novel there is talk of the classic 1951 pennant race between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. For baseball fans that should be more than enough reason to pick up this wonderful book. Reviews via author's site
3 Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta 2nd
12 yr old Roy was one of my favorite male protagonist of 2009. I loved that he read Their Eyes Where Watching God to impress a girl. Named a top 10 sports books for youth in 2009 by Booklist. More honors and reviews via author's site
4 The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz CF
I had picked this novel to get a shiny Newbery sticker and I wasn't the only one. Named a top 10 sports books for youth in 2009 by Booklist Reviews via the author's site
5 The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott RF
This was my Cybils choice MG Fantasy for 2009 and a Cybils finalist. Reviews via author's site. For all the baseball fans who love the history of the game the author mentions Curt Flood. Curt Flood named in a middle grade novel, I was like WOW
6 Six Innings by James Preller 3rd
Preller doesn't waste time with the regular season. He goes straight to the Little League championship game. Named a top 10 sports book in 2008 by Booklist . Also in 2008 made New York Public Library Top 100 Best Books for Reading and Sharing List. 2009 ALA Children's Notable Book
7 The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith LF
I couldn't find contact info on Smith but I wasn't going to give up. If you've read this book you know why. Praise via publishers site. I have author James Kennedy to thank for getting me in touch with Smith.
8 Painting the Black by Carl Deuker C
I find it very fitting that Deuker the veteran for sports novels for young readers is behind the plate. He has won six state awards. If you are in need of a great sport novel check out Deuker's site
9 The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane P
Reviews via author's site. One of four spring books recommended for young readers by USA Today in 2009. I still remember the beautiful Haiku in this novel.
Here's how its going to work. I asked the authors 12 questions. The first nine questions are inspired by their books. The final three wrap up questions I thought of tie it all together. It will be broken up into 4 days, 3 questions a day.
I love the gender balance amongst the authors and within the stories themselves. This is more so for baseball fans but I do hope everyone gets something out of it. I hope that non baseball fans will have a better appreciation and respect for novels centered around sports after reading all the answers.
If you know any baseball fan please let them know about this. It's rated PG and appropriate for young baseball fans who may get a kick out of finding out the favorite teams of nine authors and other baseball related tidbits
Older fans will love the talk of the game and being able to a find few great books to share with young baseball fans.
I hope you enjoy. Please spread the word. Thanks
Questions 1 -3