Archive for the ‘Ron Koertge’ Category

Jordan Sonnenblick writes great books. He somehow manages to blend serious issues with humor to come up with readable, fun middle grade books and so it is with Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip.

Peter Friedman is an ace pitcher. He gives 110%. So when his arm begins hurting, he keeps going, going, gone…at least his pitching arm, that is. The doctors say he’ll never pitch again. Actually, he’ll never play baseball again.

Since he was a kid, he’d go on photo shoots with his grandfather, a professional photographer. So, Peter takes a photography class, in order to replace his sports passion with a hobby. In class he meets the adorable Angelika, who seems to like him.

Curveball is the photography version of Ron Koertge’s Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, another great book, in which the protagonist writes poetry when he’s sidelined with mono.

In Curveball, Peter grapples with: (a) telling AJ, his best friend and baseball teammate, that he’ll no longer be able to play baseball, (b) the telltale signs that his grandfather may have Alzheimer’s Disease and (c) the ins and outs of the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship of a high school freshman.

I remember vividly loving the grumpy nursing home character Sol from Notes from a Midnight Driver. Well, in Curveball, Grandpa is exactly the opposite. He’s loveable, supportive, fun. AJ is a great best friend, the kind that can be a pain sometimes, but always cares. Angelika is the perfect girlfriend.

Sonnenblick continues his winning streak with Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. I’m glad to see he hasn’t lost his grip. It’s an all around winner.

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