The Book Reviews – Website

August 6, 2008

Hardball

Hardball

Author: Will Weaver

Page Length: 240

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: It’s 1971 and Billy Baggs is a star pitcher for the farm team. Billy and the farm team are arch rivals against Archer “King” Kenwood and the city team. Both boys have more in common than they realize: a longing for the same girl, controlling fathers, demanding home lives, and a love of baseball. High school baseball is approaching and the coach needs both the boys as future teammates. When the last farm vs. city game of the season erupts in violence, the coach hatches a plan. The boys will have to spend time living each other’s lives. Will King and Billy be able to get along long enough to survive their time together? Can they overcome their differences and come together in time to make the team?

REVIEW: I really enjoyed reading this book! I loved the lessons Weaver teaches about tolerance for one another, how things aren’t always as they seem, being true to yourself, standing up for what you believe in, and more. This book provides many teachable moments worth discussion. Worth the read – but probably better appreciated by students who have lived in both rural and urban settings or who at least understand the differences between the two. I think that many students will be able to identify with Billy, King, and even Suzy.   

AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence of events, compare/contrast, cause and effect, summarization, theme, setting, plot, conflict, point of view

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: mild sexual encounter, mild language: pg. 85 “Gina floated on her stomach … as naked as a jaybird,” pg. 87 “keep showing off your titties,” violence (fighting)

RELATED BOOKS: Striking Out, Farm Team, Saturday Night Dirt: A Motor Novel, Full Service, Red Earth, White Earth

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/12865/Will_Weaver/index.aspx

http://www.willweaverbooks.com/yalit.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Weaver

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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