Synopses & Reviews
House Jackson, age twelve, star pitcher and team captain of the Aurora County All-Stars, has a secret. For the past year, while sidelined with a broken elbow, he has spent every afternoon at the bedside of a mysterious old man the other kids call Mean-Man Boyd-and he doesn't want anyone to know. Now House is finally ready to play ball again, but his teams biggest (and ONLY) game of the year might be canceled, thanks to the very girl who caused his broken elbow. Its almost too much to bear. But in the standoff that ensues, House finds a courage he didn't know he possessed-and discovers that just about everyone in Aurora County, Mississippi, has a secret.
"Jackson hits a home run as the inspired choice to read Wiles's (Each Little Bird That Sings) latest, a heartfelt story with baseball at its center. Her slightly raspy voice, shaded with an occasional twang, is perfect for bringing to life the cast of memorable and colorfully named characters of a rural town in Mississippi. Using a leisurely storytelling rhythm, the narrator makes listeners feel old friends, taking them along as 12-year-old baseball fanatic House Jackson discovers some long-held secrets both in his own family, and in the town of Aurora and how they all finally fit together. Wiles explores issues of death and loss, art versus. sport and the dynamics of true community with humor and tenderness. As a bonus, listeners can hear the slightest chuckle or almost hear a thoughtful smile in Jackson's voice as she reads the quotes from baseball greats and from Walt Whitman that open each chapter. Ages 8-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)