Rave Reviews Log: Sports Stories

June 30, 2009

The Prince of Fenway Park

By Julianna Baggott
Sport: Baseball
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Who knew that baseball and fantasy could be mixed together so wonderfully? Set in 2004, Oscar is adopted and has never felt he fits in; it doesn't help that his parents have split up. The only thing he truly loves is the Boston Red Sox and he waits breathlessly for them to advance in the playoffs versus the Yankees, but it feels like they will never beat that 86 year old curse. Then, when his mother leaves him unexpectedly with his father while she pursues a job and a new romance in Baltimore, Oscar's father reveals to him a huge secret. The curse that has followed the Red Sox all of these years, preventing them from winning a World Series, was placed upon them by one man, who also gave clues on how to break the curse. And that curse also encompassed people like Oscar's father and many others, causing them to live a strange life underneath Fenway Park until someone can finally break it. People like the Pooka, Weasel-man, and the Aunties, as well as Oscar's father. Is Oscar the one who can do it? As Oscar accepts this strange new reality he decides he will attempt to break the curse. But not everyone wants him to succeed. And can Oscar do it before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series seals the fate of the Red Sox for another year? He will have to travel through time and find one single special baseball--is he up to the task? Does he have enough faith? Sports fans, especially Red Sox fans, will love all of the baseball history, and the fantasy storyline carries the plot forward at a rapid pace. A very enjoyable book!

June 11, 2009

Baseball Great

By Tim Green
Rating: 4 stars
Sport: Baseball

Tim Green hits a homerun with this story, his best yet. Josh is the son of a minor league baseball player and is pretty hot at shortstop himself. He is all geared up to become the star of his school's team when his dad is let go by the minors. The next thing Josh knows, his dad has pulled him from his school team to try out for a high-powered U-14 team that aims to get to play in the Junior Olympics and is run by an ex-athlete named Rocky Valentine. 12 year old Josh isn't sure he can compete with the 14 year olds, but when he finds out his dad can get a job with Rocky's company, he makes the best of it. But being on the team includes working out with weights and taking a supplement called Super Staxx, nevermind battling the older kids who don't want anything to do with Josh. But when Josh finally feels like he is settling in, he finds out about one more thing the team has to do...and he isn't sure it is legal. Part baseball story and part crime story, this fast-moving plot will hook sports fans good and hard until the very last out. Fans may like his football stories, Football Genius and Football Hero (see reviews).