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Koertge, Ronald.
Cambridge : Candlewick Press, 2003.
ISBN 0763621161

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

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 his life.

Booktalk #2

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.
Strike Two.
Kevinís girlfriend dumps him
Ball One!
Kevin, still home with Mono, keeps trying his hand at writing poetry. Heís starting to like it but still loves and misses baseball
Ball Two!
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.
Ball Three!
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

SUBJECTS:     Poetry -- Fiction.
                        Baseball -- Fiction.
                        Authorship -- Fiction.
                       Diaries -- Fiction.
                        Sick -- Fiction.


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