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Change-up: Baseball Poems Hardcover – February 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (February 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618719628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618719624
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,834,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—Thirty-six brief poems follow a baseball player's year from snowy February, "the hardest month," through the much-anticipated summer season and back to February. Mostly lighthearted, sometimes wistful verses celebrate snow baseball, unwrapping equipment, and the ups and downs of the season. There are witty portraits of his supportive family and teammates, such as "Automatic Out" Albert and ever-hopeful benchwarmer Ted. Fehler's verses offer simple images and the delights of the game's terse play-by-play. The boy waits at the plate for Gramps's knuckleball: "I wait and wait./It nears the plate/and now/and now/my bat swings/under (maybe over)/it/too soon./Or was the swing/too late?" As the season ends, the snow-covered December ballpark holds only the seeds of "memories planted deep." Wu's comically exaggerated illustrations are done in acrylic and colored pencils. With its charming wordplay and humor, this book should win an audience among readers who long for the sun-warmed days of the baseball season all year long.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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From Booklist

Between an opening game of “Snow Baseball” and a reflective visit the following winter to a “Ballfield in February,” a young player picks out a year’s worth of baseball highs and lows. Along with appreciating his good fortune in having a mom who pitches batting practice, a dad who “hits pop-ups / so high that airplanes / make U-turns in the sky,” and a grandpa who actually pitched in the minors (his curveball “misses my bat / whenever it pleases”), the narrator chronicles mishaps (“I really hate / to hear the sound / of windows when / I’m playing ball”) and weird baseball dreams, as well as such memorable moments as a game-winning hit by teammate “Automatic Out” Albert, and a quick hug from the pitcher after helping her out of a jam with a double play. Reflecting the poems’ generally upbeat tone, Wu’s painted illustrations feature active figures with smiles and bright, wide eyes. Read alone or aloud, this provides just the ticket for driving out winter doldrums. Grades 3-5. --John Peters

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a collection book of poems about baseball but it reads like a story book. It starts out in winter when the boy in the story is longing for spring and takes us full circle into the next winter when the child is ready to begin playing baseball again. The poems include stories about wins, loses, baseball superstitions, teamwork, cheering and much more. You can tell that the author really loves the sport and understands what it's like to be a young person that loves to play ball. This book can be used in the classroom on many levels. I see it working well for lessons on poetry in grade 3-5. What I really like was that the author included girls in the poems. The mom loves watching the games and there is even a poem about Gabby one of the teams star pitchers!
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More About the Author

Gene grew up in Thomson, Illinois, and currently lives in Seneca, South Carolina, with his wife Polly. The greatest inspirations for his books are his love of baseball and his family. Gene and Polly have two sons, Tim and Andy, and three granddaughters -- Mireille, Gabrielle, and Kaya. His young adult novel BEANBALL was named 2008 Best Book by the Society of School Librarians International. His book CHANGE-UP: BASEBALL POEMS was co-winner of the 2010 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People in the Grades 4-6 category. Gene has the great pleasure of playing more than sixty softball games a year on a senior softball team from Seneca, South Carolina; and more than twenty baseball games a year with one of his sons in the Great American Pastime Baseball League (for players 18 and over) in Greenville, South Carolina.