Meet 14-year-old Kevin Boland.
All he thinks about is baseball -- and girls. Now he is on the temporary
disabled list with a case of mono and faces the prospect of spending weeks
in bed with no baseball -- and no girls. To pass the time, his dad
gives him a journal to write in. At first, Kevin has no interest
in it but then he starts experimenting. He borrows a book on poetry
and sets out to write his thoughts in different forms of poetry.
What he finds is that writing helps him come to terms with the loses in
Bases Loaded. Strike One!
I take a pitch./Foul one off/Take
a strike./Their left fielder drifts in./Thatís what Iím thinking anyway,
propped/Up in bed with some dumb book.
Then Dad comes in and says,
ďthe doctor/Called. Your tests came back. Youíve got/Mono. Kevin, a really
good fourteen year-old first baseman, finds himself at home with a bad
case of mono. He has nothing to do but read and stay in bed. His dad, a
recent widower and an English teacher turned writer, encourages Kevin to
keep a journal. Kevin begins to write every type of poetry and prose he
can fashion from his mind.
Kevinís girlfriend dumps him
Kevin, still home with Mono,
keeps trying his hand at writing poetry. Heís starting to like it but still
loves and misses baseball
Kevinís first day out of the
house with his friends at a pizza parlor makes him realize just how sick
he has been and still is. He begins to worry if he will be up to playing
baseball after he gets well again.
Memories of his mother keep
flooding back as he writes about her: Mom would have liked it/ But it meant:
Youíre a great mom/ Were. You were a great mom.
Grand Slam or Three Strikes
and Youíre Out?
Will Kevin, now Shakespeare
to his friends, bring everyone home with a grand slam or a strike out?
Read Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge and follow Kevin through a
season of baseball, girls, and poetry to find out. Oklahoma
Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2005-2006