First, I'm sorry for not being more active in the blogosphere. Have been working on different children's projects (stars are thanked every day) and didn't want to pop up a post for you guys that's rushed through.
So now that I'm more ready, I'd like to introduce you to Jeremiah Lopper, superstar protagonist of the latest Joan Bauer novel. (*Joan Bauer is the author of Almost Home, Tell Me, and more.)
Jeremiah is the world's biggest baseball fan.
His specific age is unknown, probably twelve. He doesn't know when his birthday is, or who his parents are. When he was a baby, he was left at a computer company, in the snack room, right by the coffeepot.
The guy who found him, Walt Lopper, is a computer geek. He took Jeremiah in.
So here we have a boy who knows he was "left" by his real mom, lives with a geek, and oh yea, has a weak heart. He's even had a heart transplant.
How do you think he's turned out?
Quiet? Unsure of himself? Don't know how he's going to face the world with a heart that isn't his?
Walt is like an eagle father, constantly tending to Jeremiah yet still giving him the space to soar.
Walt's business takes him and Jeremiah to Hillcrest, a town known for its championship baseball team (for the older kids).
They settle down. They try to make friends. Jeremiah finds out the middle school has a "somewhat" baseball team. He knows he isn't fit enough to play, but he loves motivating the guys and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses.
Things seem good until the star player of the championship team dies. Hargie was only seventeen. And his coach is arrested for feeding steroids to his players.
Hillcrest is covered with a blanket of sadness and shame. Nobody wants to be associated with baseball anymore. Not even those on the middle school team.
Except for Jeremiah.
Can he turn things around for his team, and the town?
Ms. Bauer doesn't disappoint. I did find several moments in the story a wee bit over-roasted on sentimentality but for the rest that were perfectly roasted, they were funny and touching and very inspiring.
Here's one of my favourite passages:
I sit at the table thinking about hearts.
I hope we all play ours grandly. I hope we all have too many cool things to do to feel down. What cool things do you want to do this week? (Me, I'll be planning a new private project, and wishing a soon-to-graduate student my very, very best. She has been a wonderful kid to tutor and I'm going to miss her!)
Thanks for the RT
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.