Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Summary: 12-year-old Jack is a baseball superstar, part of a team that is poised to go all the way to the Little League World Series this year. So it comes as a shock, to say the least, when he tells his coach after the first practice that he is quitting. His parents wonder if his decision is related to his older brother’s fatal accident the previous fall, but Jack assures them it isn’t. His old friends from the team are upset, so Jack starts hanging out with some new friends: Cassie, the star of her softball team, and Teddy, a boy who gets picked on for being overweight and unathletic. With their help, he slowly finds his way back to baseball and healing from the loss of his brother.
Pros: Like all Mike Lupica books, this story has a winning combination of likeable characters, an emotionally charged plot, and plenty of sports action.
Cons: As in all Mike Lupica books, the junior high characters talk like they are about 27 years old.