Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 140
Baseball and Difficult Times
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Lazarus Weathers lives in the Jet City trailer park in Seattle with his mother and half brother, Antonio. He has a job at a nearby golf course, and manages to play ball on a couple of teams. When his school team is disbanded because a large percentage of the players get in trouble, he turns to his rec league coach for help. Laz is good, but he isn't going to get the attention of scouts playing for school teams like North Central. After his school's team disbands, he is allowed to go to another school to play, and is asked by the father of a Laurelhurst player to consider that school. At the same time, the trailer park is going to be torn down, and the reappearance of Antonio's father puts the family at four-- too large for the best choice for housing, which is 25 miles away. He moves in with the Laurelhurst family, who are nice to him, even if he feels awkward living in their basement. There's always food, they give him a computer to use, and the school is much better as well. Laz has struggled in school, partly due to his stutter, and he is able to get tutoring at Laurelhurst to bring his grades up. He's still concerned about Antonio's friends, because he hangs out with a known pill pusher. There is also a girl, Suja, at North Central whom Laz really likes, so he keeps returning to the neighborhood to see her and to work at the golf course until it closes. The Laurelhurst team does well, and Laz could possibly get a job on a pro team if he plays his cards right, which will enable him to have a place to live when he graduates from high school. When a crisis with Antonio causes him to miss a championship game and also taints his image, will he be able to make his baseball dreams come true?
Good Points
Deuker always writes such intricately deep sports stories, and this one is excellent. Laz's life in the trailer park, trying to make ends meet, is a compelling story without the sports, but his drive to make a career out of his talent will appeal to young readers even more. There's never any certainty about what might happen next-- I was definitely kept on the edge of my seat reading this one. We see just enough of Antonio's life to be worried about him, and to know how much Laz cares about him, so that it's not a surprise that he goes to his aid. The culture shock of going to Laurelhurst is handled well, and the details of being scouted are realistic but not overly hopeful. The light romance, as well as a side story with a local reporter, adds even more depth. It's very evident that Deuker puts a lot of care and thought into his writing!

Readers who don't want to commit to lengthy series and want their sports served up with a side of interesting social problems can always count on Deuker to hit it out of the park with his books!
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Nest That Wren Built
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nature lovers and poetry fans alike will be drawn to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
So, you want to know about Jack Wilson? Here’s some...
Elysium Girls
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From a lush, dazzlingly original new voice in young adult...
The Lost Legends
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
A plague. A prophecy. A centuries-long curse. All her...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this...
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Make me a girl with a razor heart… It’s...
Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward...
When Wishes Bleed
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. The upheaval in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ali McMillian almost drowned. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill accident either;...
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling...
Moonscript
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes...
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl...
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They have a love-hate relationship with summer. ...
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save...
11004295_10203571569113600_1962266189_n.jpg
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
*****Best YA Book & Author of the Year***** The...

Latest Member Reviews

Elysium Girls
 
4.3
"ELYSIUM GIRLS is an engaging YA historical fantasy/dystopian. In the 1930s, an area of Oklahoma suddenly got cut off from..."
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
"Now that Mena and the other girls have escaped Innovations Academy, they find their past hasn't left them. Mena vows..."
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
"THE LUCKY ONES is quite an emotional ride. The book follows May and Zach in alternating first person points-of-view. May..."
 
4.0
"GIRL, SERPENT, THORN is a YA fairytale retelling by Melissa Bashardoust. The story follows Soraya, a princess who is cursed..."
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
"MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT is a book that reminds readers of all the possibilities and freedom of summer vacation. We..."
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
"SWORD IN THE STARS is a satisfying conclusion to a delightful YA fantasy retelling of King Arthur in space! Picking..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
4.0
"THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White is the first book in a YA retelling of the classic Arthurian legend. Guinevere,..."
Crave
 
4.3
"CRAVE is a really engaging new YA fantasy/paranormal romance that follows Grace in the first person. Grace lost her parents..."
Golden Arm
 
5.0
"Lazarus Weathers lives in the Jet City trailer park in Seattle with his mother and half brother, Antonio. He has..."
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
"EMBER QUEEN is a great conclusion to the Ash Princess trilogy. Picking up right where book 2 left off, Theo..."
Kissing Lessons
 
5.0
"'Kissing Lessons' by Sophie Jordan is a well-written, entertaining story about a variety of main characters, including Hayden Vargas, Nolan..."
Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, #2)
 
5.0
"LADY SMOKE is every bit as addictive as the first in this engrossing trilogy. Picking up where the first book..."
The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret, #1)
 
4.0
"The Queen's Assassin is a fantasy romance geared toward the younger YA reader. It is told from the first person..."
Ash Princess (Ash Princess, #1)
 
5.0
"ASH PRINCESS is an engaging YA fantasy that takes us to the conquered land of Astrea. Theodosia's mother, the Fire..."
The Everything I Have Lost
 
4.3
"At age twelve, Julia starts writing in a diary. She writes about what she witnesses in her town of Juarez,..."
Sting
 
3.3
"STING is an intriguing YA dystopian retelling of THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO. The world has been ravaged by climate..."
The Paper Girl of Paris
 
4.0
"The Paper Girl of Paris is written by journalist Jordyn Taylor and is set in both historical 1940’s and nowadays..."
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
5.0
"THE MIDNIGHT LIE is a lush and atmospheric YA fantasy. The book transports us to another world, where people are..."
Defy the Sun (The Offering Series, #2)
 
4.7
"DEFY THE SUN is a fantastic conclusion to this YA fantasy duology. This book picks up right where the first..."
We Unleash the Merciless Storm
 
3.7
"Carmen Santos cover as a La Voz soldier has been exposed. She flees back to the La Voz's headquarters, leaving..."