Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mudville Kurtis Scaletta

Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta A rain out of rival game between Moundville and Sinister Bend turned into 22 straight years of rain for Moundville. Roy's dad was the last hitter before the rain began to fall. 12 yr old Roy is a catcher though thanks to rain there's no baseball in Moundville. The book opens with Adam returning from baseball camp. When he gets home his dad surprises him with a Sturgis, a foster brother. Strugis face is scared, and he's very secretive about his past.

"So Sturgis," my dad says, "do you want to tell Roy more about yourself?" Sturgis gives me a long, careful look. "I'm a foster kid. Yov'e probably seen TV movies about us" "I don't know maybe one or two." "Well there you go"

Roy's mom couldn't stand the rain, she travels the world has a flight attendant checking in with the occasional post card or phone call. Soon after Roy's return and Sturgis arrival the rain suddenly stops. The kids of Moundville form a baseball team with Roy as captain. Most have never played before, Roy must teach them the basics. Sturgis is the teams ace, striking out anyone with his fastball. The goodness of Mudville snuck up on me, its about more then baseball. In between the games Roy's dad teaches him to respect the hardwork of others. Roy learns what really goes into getting a baseball field ready.

"I knew you were in over your head when you talked about fixing up the old ball field, but I want you to thank the groundskeepers and sign autographs for their children. Those guys could be your own grandfather. Heck, they could be me. When fans turn out, think about how hard you weekend this week and remember they worked that hard all week to take their family to a ball game."

I loved Roy, he came across has the 12 yr old he was supposed to be. It was a joy watching him juggle captain and catcher duties. The Moundville team were an interesting bunch of characters including an ambidextrous infielder, who doesn't know left from right and a Cuban 3rd baseman nicknamed google -search me is his answer to everything. Though Roy likes the relief pitcher Rita who can't throw straight but has a wicked backward curveball thanks to a tennis injury, he doesn't let it affect his captain duties. Slowly the team gets better and the inevitable happens they are challenged by Sinister Bend. Moundville has lost over 100 straight games to Sinister Bend, the town rallies beyond the new team hoping for a different outcome. I really enjoyed Mudville, Scaletta's writing is very good and seamlessly layered. If the reader is willing there are lessons to be learned but the author doesn't force it. Roy's friend Adam from baseball camp sends him a signed baseball from Kansas City. There was a mix up the ball meant for Adam is signed by baseball great Buck Oneil. (I gotta love a baseball book that fits in a Negro League reference) Adam's coach is in aww of the signature, and Roy gets a different ball.

"I told Coach to keep that baseball, and I got another ball signed for you. My ball is signed by Montgomery Daniels, full time barber and part time baseball coach. "

I was a little choked up at this part, what can I say, I am no Tom Hanks. I highly recommand Mudville. Ages 10up

My Favorite Author Mudville Review


Apryl DeLancey said...

Nice! I'll get this one for my nephews. I really like your reviews

Anonymous said...

So how fast do you read a book? What's your reading schedule like?

Doret said...

The majority of my reads are Middle Grade and Young Adult so I read a lot in a week as long as I pick books I really like. I do go into reading slumps, where I can't find anything. I am in the complete opposite of that right now. Even the adult books I've picked up recently I loved and finished quickly. Though it also helps that I take public trans to work and there's not much on t.v.