Heart of a ChampionHot
Have you ever had a person who you looked up to and admired? In the novel, Heart of a Champion, by Carl Deuker, the main character, Seth Barham, wishes he was like another boy named Jimmy Winters. With the support of his dad, Jimmy became a star on the baseball field. Seths father taught him to play golf at a young age. After Seths father dies of a heart attack, he starts to lose interest in golf. One day, as Seth sits alone on a school playground, Jimmy calls him over to play baseball with him and his father. This is the beginning of Jimmy and Seths friendship.
Jimmy and Seth practice together throughout their sophomore year in high school in anticipation of the spring baseball season. Jimmys dream is to start as shortstop and, after high school, go straight to professional baseball. Seths dream is to start at second base in high school and be on the same field as Jimmy so that they could show off their double play. Both athletes hope to have their shot at the State Title.
The problem began a couple of years earlier when the two friends started drinking beer while under age. As Seth starts seeing the complete picture and realizes how important life is, he decides to stop drinking and work hard on the field and in the classroom. Unfortunately, Jimmy continues drinking and completely ignores Seth and his teammates as they plead for him to stop.
The ending of this realistic story is somewhat depressing, but it is obvious and predicable. When I was reading this, it definitely puts my life, as a teenager, in perspective. For some people, this could be a ground breaking book because the characters seem to come alive and you can feel the emotions that the characters experience. In my opinion, every teen should read this book, especially if you are a sports fan.