Author William Hazelgrove William Hazelgrove is the best selling author of five novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks Mica Highways and Rocket Man and The Pitcher His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. His latest novel Rocket Man due out May 1, 2013 was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors.net. He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway’s Attic. A forthcoming novel, The Pitcher will be out Sept 1, 2013. He lives in Chicago.
Now for my review.
What I liked best: I LOVED the story, man! Sorry, you have to read the book to get the “man” reference. Seriously though, for me this book has it all. Baseball (Yeah!), a single mom, a tough kid, a horrible father, the kid who has it all, and the Pitcher. I fell in love with the characters and the story. I simply could not put it down. Speaking of the horrible father, he is the subject of one of my favorite lines: Fernando (the horrible father) is, “…the CIA of deadbeat dads or something and he just comes around for all the bad times.”
What missed a bit: For me personally, nothing. No misses. But, I feel obligated to mention two things for potential readers. First of all there is tons of baseball jargon. If you are not familiar with the game of baseball this might throw you a bit. Secondly, this book is most certainly for mature readers. There is quite a bit of swearing (which was totally in character so I’m okay with it) and several mature situations. You’ve been warned, now go pick up the book!
Overall: I am a HUGE baseball fan and this book is a home run! I loved it and I believe any baseball fan will too. The mentions of Bobby Jenks and Ozzie Guillen were bonuses to me since I live in Illinois and am a lifelong White Sox fan. The book felt so real, it was great. It is more than a baseball story, it is a story about growing up, life with a single parent, and never giving up on your dreams. Ricky sums it up with this line, “…we were equipped to handle all the bad stuff (I substituted this word), you know, but good things are a little trickier.”
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