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Kluger, Steve
New York : Avon Books,  1997.
ISBN 0380797631
Joseph has no real father.  He is constantly being beaten up after school.  Joseph is a Jewish boy living in the middle of World War II.  And yet he seems to stay confident with himself, have a positive attitude, and make everyone around him laugh.  Joseph has managed to charm his psychiatrist, his teacher, his Rabbi and the President's secretary, but when he writes Charlie Banks, a third baseman for the New York Giants, his charm seemed to have worn off.  However, as the story progresses, Joseph grows on Charlie and befriends him.  They give each other advice, tease each other, and tell friendly jokes.  Charlie helps Joseph with his bully problems and helps him with his Bar Mitzvah by taking the place of his father who talked to him last on his 12th birthday.  Joseph takes the place of Charlie's dead brother and everything is great.  Or so it seems.  This uniquely written story combines teen problems, humor and a little bit of tragedy.  Because of this, I suggest you read LAST DAYS OF SUMMER  by Steve Kluger.  (Andy M., 8th grade student, Rundlett Middle School, Concord, New Hampshire)
SUBJECTS:     Baseball players -- Fiction
                        Letters -- Fiction
                        Friendship -- Fiction
                        New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction


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