When Trey's treasured lucky charm―a piece of blue sea glass he found near his grandmother's beach house―"helps" him make it onto the Ravens travel team with his friend Cole, he is overjoyed. This stroke of good fortune reinforces his superstitious behavior, and the rituals become more and more important to him. In spite of some teasing and even some sarcasm from his teammates, Trey persists―he never steps on the foul line, he obsessively taps the corners of home plate when he's at bat, he always chooses the same lucky bat―and the list just keeps getting longer. Why stop? After all, his tactics are working; he's doing quite well on the field and in the batter's box. Then one day he can't find his lucky sea glass. He and Cole search everywhere―but it's no use. Trey's performance begins to slip, and he is convinced that his future with the Ravens is doomed. It is no comfort to him to learn that many pro baseball players also depended on lucky charms or rituals. Things don't start to improve for Trey until his uncle reminds him of his grandmother's favorite saying: "The harder you work, the luckier you get."
Many students are not living with their fathers, for a variety of reasons, and it's good to see that reflected in literature. While it's difficult at times, Trey does have other supportive adults in his life and manages to enjoy time with his mother.
As always, Bowen's sports details are exquisite and even include rosters, score sheets, and other facets that I don't even begin to understand. The brief chapter at the end about famous ball players and their superstitions was very interesting and might lead readers to research some of these players.
Readers who aren't quite ready for Mike Lupica and Tim Green but need a bit more meat to their stories that those by David A. Kelly or Claudia Mills will enjoy Bowen's books, which are definitely a new millennium replacement for the much beloved but increasingly dated Matt Christopher titles.