Monday, December 3, 2012

Michael Northrop Week: Plunked

Michael Northrop is visiting with all of our middle school TAB students on Friday! To celebrate, we have declared this week, "Michael Northrop Week" here on the blog. All week they'll be reviews of his books AND on Friday we'll be featuring AN INTERVIEW with him here. Stay tuned!
by Michael Northrop

Spring is in the air, the clocks are an hour ahead and for tons of teens across the country all of this adds up to one thing: baseball season. It means that school becomes just time until practices and Saturdays are not for sleeping in, but for getting up early to get a few swings in before the game.

This is Jack Mogen's life. And this is the season he knows he's going to get the most time playing, because he's in sixth grade, the last year of little league and he's put in his time and that spot in left field has his name on it.

Sports players are superstitious. They like to have a ritual that helps them make sure that things are going to go right for them. A little bit of luck. Jack has a few moves he makes before he is ready at bat and it seems to do all right for him. When things are going right in a game, you're on a streak, you're in a groove and you don't want anything to throw that off.

Sometimes the slightest thing can throw off that feeling of confidence in how you're playing. You can't find a pair of lucky socks, you don't sit in your normal seat on the travel bus, your shoelace breaks right as you're about to be up. For Jack though, something a little more dramatic messes with his mojo: A pitch to the head.

Suddenly the wall between him and the pitch is broken and it's a lot harder to have nerve enough to swing and not duck when the pitch's headed his way. It's going to be a long mean season if Jack can't get his head (and heart) back in the game.

This is the newest book from the author of Trapped and it has a lot of sports cred because Mr. Northrop spent 12 years writing for Sports Illustrated: Kids. There are plenty of details here to keep even the biggest baseball purists happy. 

Plunked is a great book to ring in spring if you are a sports fan (or know someone who is). It practically  smells like freshly mowed grass.

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