Synopses & Reviews
Gecko Fosse drove the getaway car.
Terence Florian ran with the worst gang in Chicago.
Arjay Moran killed someone.
All three boys are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance at life in the form of Douglas Healy. A former juvenile delinquent himself, Healy is running an experimental halfway house in New York City where he wants to make a difference in the lives of kids like Gecko, Terence, and Arjay.
Things are going well, until one night Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious while trying to break up a scuffle among the boys. Terrified of the consequences, they drop him off at a hospital and run away. But when Healy awakes, he has no memory of them or the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left. They will go to school, do their community service, attend therapy, and act like model citizens until Healy's memory returns and he can resume his place with them.
But life keeps getting in the way...like Gecko finding romance. Or Arjay getting famous. Or Terence reverting to his old ways. And the woman from social services is determined to catch them at something. If the boys are discovered, their second chance will be their last.
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.
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.
Gecko, Terence, and Ajay are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance. Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent himself, takes them into his halfway house, hoping to make a difference in their lives. One night there is a scuffle, and Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious. When he awakes in the hospital, he has no memory of them or of the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left.
But if the boys are found out, their second chance will be their last.
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.
About the Author
Gordon Korman (www.gordonkorman.com) is the number one New York Times best-selling author of more than fifty popular young adult and middle-grade novels, including Schooled, Born to Rock, Son of the Mob, and No More Dead Dogs. He lives on Long Island in New York.