March 01, 2013
Isaac is a perfectionist. This extends to everything in his life, but especially his love for baseball. He dreams of pitching a perfect game 18 batters, all out and of earning a spot on the summer travel team. But Isaac hasn t learned to handle it when things go wrong. After his latest meltdown, his coach asks him to help out with a United basketball team intellectually challenged kids and mainstream kids, all playing together.
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As with all of Fred Bowen's books, this had lots of details about games and tables of statistics that I don't quite understand, but that my readers love. Interwoven with this is the more serious topic of Isaac's unrealistic drive and his slow acceptance of the players on the Special Olympics team. This portrayal is almost painfully realistic-- as often as teachers and parents tell children not to use the term "retard", they still do. Seeing Isaac use this term out of ignorance and then learn why it is hurtful is more helpful than all the lectures adults can deliver. Bowen also writes strong female characters, and includes helpful information at the end of the book both about historical perfect games, Fragile X syndrome, and the Special Olympics.
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