Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

"How's come you guys don't bunt?"

The Abstract is hidden to prevent possible spoilers. If you'd like to read this brief summary, just highlight it using your cursor and it will magically appear in the following lines.

Abstract: In Brooklyn in 1951, a die-hard Giants fan teaches nine-year-old Maggie, who is a "Bums" (Dodgers) fan, how to use a technique to keep score of a baseball game which creates a special friendship between them.

Publisher: Clarion Books; 202 pages

12 comments:

Mary said...

I haven't read this book yet, but I enjoy Linda Sue Park's books AND I just read a starred review in Kirkus which ends with the sentence "A winner at every level." Seemed like a good reason to include it and see what other readers thought. Have you read it yet? What do you think? Should we include it on our Mock Newbery discussion list?

Nan Hoekstra said...

A solid 5+ stars. A rich and layered story with every nuance and turn true. This is Newbery quality - again - and unforgettable. Exquisite. Perfect

Genie said...

The characters are very well developed and I learned a lot about both baseball and the Korean War. I liked the characters and I liked the ending. Whether this is a Newbery contender or not I just can't say. I have to be honest and say I had a hard time staying with the book because of all the details about scoring a baseball game and just all the baseball talk in general. It is very interesting how a game is scored but there were just to many details about it. The baseball details fit the story well and were placed well in the story but if you aren't a big baseball fan it may be too much for you; it was for me.

Teresa said...

I am excited to discuss this book in January, to see how it measures up with the rest of the books. The beginning was a bit slow for me. However, once I took the time to concentrate on the book at hand, the story is wonderful. No easy answers to life's questions. What is more coming-of-age than that?

steven said...

This was excellent. Starting with the very specific interests of the girl, namely baseball, it blossoms out to encompass war, friendship, hope, and much more. The protagonist is distinct, memorable, and very believable.

Kris said...

I found this to be an extremely well-written and likeable book. The themes of hope and friendship are beautifully presented, the characters are wonderfully real, and I now understand the Korean war much more than I ever did before. And, I also can't wait to watch a baseball game, so I can try to keep score (and I'm NOT a baseball fan)!

Heather said...

I enjoyed this book. I don't like baseball, but I love statistics, so I found the scoring aspects interesting.
But, I didn't see the characters change much in the four or five baseball seasons that this novel spans. Maggie was 9 at the beginning and 13 at the end - but she seemed to change/grow very little.

Jen said...

I think I needed to like baseball (or math) a little better to be able to connect more with the character in this book, but it certainly covered more universal themes than simply baseball. Like steven said in an earlier post, war, friendship, hope, and perseverance are all central themes.

Michele said...

It took me a little bit to get into this one, but I ended up enjoying it - more the Korean conflict aspect than the baseball, as I'm not a huge sports fan, (though I must admit I became intrigued enough to turn on a game on TV. Went back to my non-baseball ways after about 10 minutes, but give Park credit for getting me that far!) To get back to the book, I found the "coming home" theme timely, and liked the way the way the "forgotten war" was explained - a great refresher course for me. I do agree with Heather's post about the lack of change in the character over the 4 years during which the story takes place. Guess I'll frame it in terms of the 50's being a more "innocent" time where kids weren't pushed to grow up so fast.

Amy said...

This book promises some lively discussion, from the sounds of the previous comments. "Layered" "slow beginning" "blossoms out"...I echo all those thoughts. There were a couple of places that I wondered if today's kids would "get it". Loved the setting!

pianolibrarian said...

I agree with Genie. I'm a casual baseball watcher, but the details of the scoring process were a bit much for me. I enjoyed it, but I think there are other books from this year that are more worthy of the award.

Jill said...

I too, had a hard time getting into the book, but once I was in, I was hooked. I thought Park did a great job weaving together kids and adults, pasttimes and conflicts, making them all meld together for a great read. Newbery? Maybe...only time will tell!