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Extra innings. (Paperback Fiction).

PECK, Robert Newton. Extra innings. HarperTrophy. 216p. 0-06-4472299. $5.99.


Peck's book covers all the bases (pun intended) for readers to enjoy. There is baseball for sports fans, history for those who like historical fiction, race relations for fans of politics, and a little romance for fans of love stories. Tate loses his leg and all of his immediate family in a plane crash. He goes to live with his great-grandfather and great aunt. As he is trying to recover from the loss of his family and the loss of his dream of playing baseball professionally, Vidalia, his great aunt, tells him the story of her life before his great-grandfather adopted her. Vidalia was abandoned as a baby on a bus filled with traveling black baseball players. They did not discover her until they were many miles away from town, so they decided to keep her as their mascot. She traveled from town to town with them learning about baseball and life, the life of a colored person in the South before desegregation, during the Depression. When she was ten, the man she considered her father died playing ball and one of the white ball players from the other team took her home. He and his wife fell in love with her and adopted her. She tells Tate her story to help drag him out of his depression and to give him a purpose--she wants him to write a book about Ethiopia's Clowns, the ball team she lived with on the purple bus.

Many students will enjoy this story, with some salty language: it is more appropriate for young adults in high school or mature junior high students. The message of perseverance is timeless and seen on many levels of this novel. Stacey Conrad, Reading Teacher, Palmyra, MO
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Conrad, Stacey
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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