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Baseball Great [Kindle Edition]

Tim Green
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $5.98
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Josh feels like he's starting to make it big! Jaden, the school reporter, says he's going to take the baseball team to number one. Then his dad pulls him off the field and signs him up with Coach Rocky Valentine's youth championship team, the Titans. He says Josh has what it takes to be a baseball great—and the Titans will help him get there.

Now Josh is gulping down Rocky's "Super Stax" milkshakes to build muscle and trying to fit in with his new teammates—older, tougher kids who can suddenly become violent. All Josh really wants to do is play ball, but as he gets in deeper with the Titans, there are questions he's just got to ask. As Josh and his new friend Jaden investigate their suspicions, they find themselves in a dangerous struggle with a desperate man who doesn't want them to expose the nasty secrets they uncover.

Pulsing with action, baseball great offers a baseball story attuned to today's headlines, a totally involving, character-driven, sports-centered thriller.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve-year-old Josh LeBlanc has moved a lot in his life; his father is a minor league pitcher hoping to make it to the majors. After his dad is abruptly dumped by his Triple-A team, Josh realizes that he has a chance to stay in one town and play baseball on his school team. His father, however, has other plans, signing Josh up for a traveling team, led by an intense and sometimes brutal coach. Josh eventually discovers that his coach’s winning formula includes handing out steroids. With the help of Jaden, a school newspaper reporter, he manages to take a photograph of the coach receiving steroids behind a hospital. Green delivers a fast-paced story, told in short chapters that build to the exciting climax. He also doesn’t sanitize the rough world of the locker room, showing the intimidation that often accompanies young people’s sports. Add this to other novels that feature the temptations of steroids for young athletes, including Carl Deuker’s Gym Candy (2007) and John Coy’s Crackback (2005). Grades 6-8. --Todd Morning


“Green delivers a fast-paced story, told in short chapters that build to the exciting climax. Add this to other novels that feature the temptations of steroids for young athletes, including Carl Deuker’s Gym Candy (2007) and John Coy’s Crackback (2005).”

Product Details

  • File Size: 202 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061626864
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001VA1PN4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,134 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Teacher's Grade: B+ March 24, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I teach 4th grade and also coach baseball and basketball for kids aged 12-16. Tim Green's book is a warning against steroid use in youth travel teams, and is on a par with Mike Lupica's book,"Travel Team," in terms of quality. That means that while boy readers might like the book for its short chapters and sports-themed action, the quality of the book isn't high.

This story features a bloody fist-fight in a mall bathroom, kids using steroids, and some boy-girl drama that is totally out of place within the confines of the story. The main character is forced by his father to quit his school baseball team and try out for a travel team. Many of the kids act in ways that are superficial and unrealistic.

If short chapters that stop and start at artificial breaking points don't bother you, and your only goal is to get your kid to read a book, this book will fit the bill!

It's not literature, but it's entertaining.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baseball Great June 5, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
ISBN 0061626864 - As a baseball fan, I'll read any baseball book - statistical analysis to childrens' book. As a parent and former coach, I especially like childrens' books that ring true, partly because they remind me of my kid - now playing college ball. This book doesn't quite ring true and I detract a star for that, but it is good, it's very readable and I think the target audience will look past things that bother me.

Josh is following in his father's footsteps. Mr LeBlanc is the MVP of a Triple A farm team and Josh is better than his father was at his age, in part because his father is determined to make it so. Josh's skills between the lines catch the eye, and the heart, of new girl and baseball fanatic Jaden, who crowns him the great hope of the school's team in an article in the school paper. Meanwhile, cut from the team when he is deemed over the hill, Josh's dad turns his energy to Josh's baseball future, forcing him to quit his school team and join an elite travel team coached by Rocky Valentine. Jaden and Benji, Josh's best friend, don't like this news and friendships are strained - until Josh finds himself in over his head and in need of help.

The story is great. It's well written and a very easy read. This is a huge thing in books geared toward boys, who are often the more reluctant readers. My problems with the book - First, there's Josh's dad. I've known plenty of has-been and never-were ballplayers who live vicariously through their sons and I found the "anything to win" outlook believable. What is not believable is that the man worked his entire life in a sport currently and frequently in the news for steroid abuse, from the MLB players to high school aged kids, and he failed to question, or even suspect, the training system in use by Coach Valentine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great sports book from Tim Green March 19, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My 5th grade son loves books about sports. He's grown out of (the great) Matt Christopher books, and I am always on the lookout for YA sports books.

Last year Tim Green, a former Atlanta Falcon, wrote 'Football Hero' and 'Football Genius'. I immediately snapped them up for my son, and he devoured them and begged for more like them. We were sad to discover that although Tim Green has written other books, they are adult novels. So I was thrilled to see a new YA sports-themed Tim Green book released.

My son read 'Baseball Great' in one day and gave it a 10 out of 10 rating!

This is a story about Josh, a 12 year-old who moves from town to town because his domineering Santini-esque father is a minor league baseball player and keeps getting traded. Josh plays baseball too, he's got talent, and baseball season is about at his new school; he's excited to play for the team with his friends, and to maybe the star of the team. But his father yanks him off the school team and forces him to try out for a traveling U14 youth league team, the Titans, run by Rocky Valentine. Rocky makes his boys lift weights, drink 'Super Stax' shake supplements, and work hard. Despite being only 12, Josh makes the team. Now his school friends are mad at him for leaving the team, and the travel team kids hate him for causing one of them to be cut to make room for Josh. Things, of course, get worse from there, and Rocky is indeed the villain.

'Baseball Great' is an exciting, fast-paced book that should appeal to most YA readers (I would think that boys ages 10-13 would most enjoy this book). You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it, it has plenty of middle-school themes, but a sports-oriented kid will really love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed April 21, 2010
By xaime
My main disappointment is that this is supposed to be for the under 14 readers. It is not. I wish that authors would quit making 10-12yo kids into adults.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The story is about a 12 year old who is very good for his middle school team so much so that the school newspaper says he's the star. Then his dad, a former baseball player himself, takes Josh off the school team and puts him on a traveling team.

The coach of the traveling team gives steriods to the other kids and they try to make Josh eat the "gym candy" as well. There's a short but nasty fight in a public bathroom, a bunch of 12 year olds are talking about making out, it's all just too unbelievable. I have boys in this age group and on baseball teams and there's no way parents would go for this kind of behavior. And most boys at 12 cringe when you mention anything about girls, they still have cooties.

Now if it was 14-15 year olds, it might be a different story. But anyway, it's an easy read. My 12 year old didn't finish it because he didn't get the stuff about steroids or girls and it made him uncomfortable, so don't give as a gift to a young boy. I'd pass on this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 1 month ago by Robyn Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
It was great! You should read it! It was an epic story and baseball fans should definitely read this book!
Published 2 months ago by Katie Matousek
5.0 out of 5 stars Got me on my seat.
If you like tim green you will like this book. This book is action packed and exciting. I recommend you read rivals also by Tim green.
Published 2 months ago by Blythe wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars But they should have called the police!
Do it to it! A good read with a mostly good message. And plenty of cheesy moments. Hard to believe Josh was only 12. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Nulf
5.0 out of 5 stars great
The book was great I love hearing about all the drama in joshes life!! And I loved how Mr.LeBlanc was so firm and yet such a good father!
Published 4 months ago by Michelle M Alford
5.0 out of 5 stars it's a great book
I think that this book was the best baseball book I read because it added a mystery to it and changed the story from just a kid who's good at bae
Published 5 months ago by M. Leone
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book was the best book and I recommend it for baseball lovers like me. It had a great story line
Published 6 months ago by David Smerecki Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball great
This book is amazing reading this just gave me some chills and it was crazy how much riskes they took but definitely 5 stars.
Published 7 months ago by Jack Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I loved everything about this amazing book. I especially like the baseball parts and the part where Josh got the walk off hit.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice baseball series for young readers
My grandson is reading this series and was thrilled to get the next book. So good to see him so happy about reading.
Published 8 months ago by Judith Schneider
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More About the Author

Tim is the NY TIMES BESTSELLING author of fourteen highly successful suspense novels, including soon-to-be-released FALSE CONVICTIONS and national bestseller ABOVE THE LAW, as well the non-fiction New York Times Bestseller, THE DARK SIDE OF THE GAME which was featured on CBS's 60 Minutes. His last five novels have all been national bestsellers hitting the charts between #22 and #30 on the NY Times Bestseller list. While his first five novels used professional football as their backdrop, his most recent works have drawn more on his experiences as a lawyer exploring the themes of ambition and revenge.

Tim is also the author of a memoir entitled A MAN AND HIS MOTHER: AN ADOPTED SON'S SEARCH which was featured in PEOPLE magazine, Entertainment Tonight, and ABC's Prime Time.
His writing career began at Syracuse University where he was a Rossman Scholar for Humanities, a Syracuse Scholar, an NCAA Top Six Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and co-valedictorian of his class. While studying English Literature, Tim became acquainted with the renowned minimalist Raymond Carver, and had the opportunity to study under the award-winning writer and professor Tobias Wolff.

During his studies, Tim also played football for the Syracuse Orangemen with a career that included a consensus All-American honors as well as his recent induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he was a star defensive end for eight years. During his NFL career, Green began his thirteen year career as a commentator for National Public Radio, wrote columns for USA Today, and received his law degree with honors at Syracuse University. Because of his accomplishments both Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times have called Tim Green the "Renaissance Man" of sports. After his playing career, Tim spent eleven years as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports and recently hosted FOX's nationally syndicated news magazine, A Current Affair. His other broadcast experiences have included ABC Good Morning America's legal commentator, Court TV's Pros and Cons, host of FOX Sports Net's Emmy nominated show NFL TOTAL ACCESS, and Comedy Central's Battlebots. Recently, Tim hosted the ABC Prime Time reality show, FIND MY FAMILY.
In 2007, Tim wrote FOOTBALL GENIUS, his first novel for young readers, and an instant NY Times Bestseller. The success and enjoyment of working with his own kids on the project resulted in FOOTBALL HERO, which was released in 2008. In both novels, Tim models the main characters after his own children, submerging them into a suspenseful world that blends adolescent life and sports with the visceral realm of the NFL. FOOTBALL HERO was selected as a Junior Library Guild choice and a GMA summer page turner for young adults. Most recently he released BASEBALL GREAT, another NY Times Bestseller, as well as FOOTBALL CHAMP. Tim's newest young reader novel, RIVALS, will be released in stores in March 2010.
Tim lives with his wife, Illyssa, and their five children in upstate New York. More information about Tim can be found at his Web site

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