Synopses & Reviews
Tom Gallagher is in a tight spot. The fate of the Dillontown team rests on the outcome of one baseball game, winner take all. If Tom's team loses, they lose their field too. But how can they possibly win? Just when everything seems hopeless, a mysterious boy named Cruz de la Cruz rides into town and claims to know the secret of hitting. Not to mention the secrets of Dante Del Gato, Dillontown's greatest hitter ever. Since he walked away from the game years ago, Del Gato hasn't spoken a word to anyone. But now he might be Tom's only hope for saving his hometown. From the award-winning author of Over the Wall
and Choosing Up Sides
comes this imaginative tale of one boy's struggle to preserve the spirit of the game he loves.
Enthralling . . . filled with memorable moments. (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
A baseball tale of legendary dimension . . . another stellar read. (Booklist, starred review)
The story is well paced, quite satisfying, and will appeal to the reluctant reader.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
In his debut novel, Fehler succeeds at every level.
Poet and baseball enthusiast Fehler should attract a crowd with his first YA novel, narrated by 28 narrators in free-verse monlogues. . . . Fehler does an excellent job in pacing his shifts of perspective, and the central story, of Luke's friendships and eventual recovery, comes through with drama and clarity.
The short, terse narrative will attract reluctant readers, and Luke's nightmarish ordeal will keep them turning the pages.
It's the last inning of a high school baseball game between arch-rivals Oak Grove and Compton. Center fielder Luke "Wizard" Wallace steps up to the plate--and is hit by a beanball, a wild pitch that shatters his skull, destroys the vision in his left eye, and changes his life forever.
In this riveting novel, the events surrounding this pivotal moment are recounted through free-verse monologues by 28 different voices, including those of Luke and his Oak Grove teammates; the pitcher, Kyle Dawkins, and other Compton players; the two coaches; Luke's family members and teachers; and Sarah Edgerton, a new classmate who seems more affected by Luke's injury than his girlfriend is.
With its unusual format, gripping subject matter, and economy of language, Beanball is a thought-provoking, fast-paced read.
Its the worst sound Ive ever heard in all my years of umping.
Oh, Ive heard plenty of pitches hit a helmet.
But this . . . this fastball, up and in.
This one hit bone, right in the face.
Not even a scream or grunt from the kid.
He went down like he was shot. In the bottom of the last inning against their biggest rival, Oak Grove High has two men on base and the score is tied. Luke “Wizard” Wallace is at bat, and he knows what he needs to do: drive in the winning run, save the game, and be a hero.
Luke has everything under control, except the pitch.
About the Author
Gene Fehler is a widely-published and anthologized poet whose work has appeared in children's books, poetry collections, and college textbooks. He is also the author of five books, including two adult nonfiction titles about baseball's golden age. He lives in Seneca, South Carolina.