The Pitcher Blog Tour ~ Hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer ~ Book Review

pitcher tour
Hi there everyone, Paul here today with my review of The Pitcher by William Hazelgrove for The Pitcher Blog Tour. A quick personal note, in case you missed it, there is still time to enter to win a copy of Lionel’s Grand Adventure and a $10 gift card/PayPal cash over at MotherDaughter Book Reviews. Now, before I get to my review let’s learn a little more about the book and the author.


The Pitcher 
 “I never knew I had an arm until this guy called out, “Hey you want to try and get a ball in the hole, sonny?” I was only nine, but mom said, “come on, let’s play.” This Carney guy with no teeth and a fuming cigarette hands me five blue rubber balls and says if I throw three in the hole we win a prize. He’s grinning, because he took mom’s five bucks and figures a sucker is born every minute. That really got me, because we didn’t have any money after Fernando took off, and he only comes back to beat up mom and steal our money. So I really wanted to get mom back something, you know, for her five bucks.” A boy with a golden arm but no money for lessons. A mother who wants to give her son his dream before she dies. A broken down World Series pitcher who cannot go on after the death of his wife. These are the elements of The Pitcher. A story of a man at the end of his dream and a boy whose dream is to make his high school baseball team. In the tradition of The Natural and The Field of Dreams, this is a mythic story about how a man and a boy meet in the crossroads of their life and find a way to go on. You will laugh and you will cry as The Pitcher and Ricky prepare for the ultimate try out of life.   

williamAuthor 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 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.”

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/27/11 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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