Synopses & Reviews
Sometimes life's greatest accomplishments take place off the field.
There's nothing All Star pitcher Peter Friedman loves more than baseball. It's his life. He breathes baseball, dreams about it, and works his tail off to be great. Most kids are nervous about starting high school, but Pete's amazing arm is going to make his life pretty easy.
Until freshman year doesn't turn out as planned. A pitching accident over the summer ruins his arm. If he isn't the star pitcher, then who is he? Pete's best friend and pitching partner, AJ, tells him he'll be back to his normal self by spring training. To make matters more complicated, there's something going on with Pete's grampa -- and Pete's mother doesn't want to talk about it.
The only person Pete can confide in is Angelika, the amazingly cute girl in his photography class who might like Pete as much as he likes her . . . only Angie doesn't know if she can date someone who can't be honest with himself, or with the people he's closest to.
Praise for Curveball:
"Jordan Sonnenblick scores a home run with Curveball as he continues what he does best: getting to the core of issues that resonate with teens in a style that's direct and witty." Book Page
* "Sonnenblick again shows an adept ability to tackle big-deal life issues, treat them seriously and believably, and filter them into a high-spirited, even fun story." Booklist, starred review
* "The novel is populated with kind, vulnerable characters who care about each other, and the thoroughly enjoyable mix of sports, art, family drama, and budding romance will have readers invested in Peter's struggles to accept his new world." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Rather than producing a stereotyped high school jock, Deuker portrays Josh as a complex and multidimensional character. . . . A well-crafted sports novel that delivers without becoming didactic or boring." —SLJ
“The well-written sports scenes—baseball and football—will draw reluctant readers, but it is Ryan’s moral courage that will linger when the reading is done.” —Booklist
“The baseball diamond leads to much more than just a winning season in this exciting and moving novel. . . . Deuker, adept at capturing the thrills during the game, also proves talented at dramatizing Ryan’s torment in the face of his friend’s deeds; the depiction of a boy coming into his own is resonant and inspiring.” —Kirkus Reviews
"An excellent sports story, with a lot more to it than just the game of baseball." —VOYA
A teenage baseball player struggles to deal with his friend's misdeeds in this exciting novel by Carl Deuker, veteran writer of sports fiction
In his senior year of high school, late bloomer Ryan Ward has just begun to feel the magic of baseball—the thrill of catching a wicked slider, of throwing a runner out, of training hard and playing hard. His friend Josh, the star of the team, has helped Ryan push his limits. But when Josh clearly pushes the limits too far, Ryan is faced with a heartbreaking dilemma: he must choose between his love for the game and his sense of integrity.
About the Author
Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.