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Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip Hardcover – March 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545320690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545320696
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

*"Sonnenblick's story may be straightforward, but Peter's natural and self-effacing narrative voice makes it sing. The novel is populated with kind, vulnerable characters who care about each other...and the thoroughly enjoyable mix of sports, art, family drama, and budding romance will have readers invested in Peter's struggles to accept his new world and appreciate what he has." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

*"[Sonnenblick] again shows an adept ability to tackle big-deal life issues, treat them seriously and believably, and filter them into a high-spirited, even fun story...A bittersweet look at freezing moments in time, and how Alzheimer's can scour even the younger generations in a family." —Booklist, starred review

*"Sonnenblick adds to his growing list of distinguished YA novels with this tale...Another winner that can be confidently recommended to readers, athletes or not." —School Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed DRUMS, GIRLS, & DANGEROUS PIE, NOTES FROM THE MIDNIGHT DRIVER, ZEN AND THE ART OF FAKING IT, and the sequel to DRUMS called AFTER EVER AFTER. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 48 customer reviews
If you love sports, romance, and even a book about family, this is a must read!
Central ISD Libraries
This book was a book I couldn't put down because from the moment you read that first page you will never want to let the book down.
Tiffany Brown
Of course besides having fantastic characters the story itself was interesting and well written.
Books31

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heidi G on March 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Peter is a star pitcher hoping to make the JV team as a freshman, but all those games that he played through the pain have left his elbow in a bad state. He doesn't know what to do with his time after the career-ending surgery other than feel sorry for himself and think about his best friend AJ making the team. When he meets Angelika in his photography class, things start looking up. Peter is familiar with cameras and photography due to watching and assisting his grandfather, a very well-known wedding photographer. Grandpa has recently started forgetting things and Angelika suggests that he may have Alzheimer's, a disease which her grandmother had. There is no offensive language or sexual content but Peter does drink alcoholic fruit punch at a party, gets sick, and has a hangover the next day. This story has many elements which teens will relate to--sweet romance, having their dreams crushed, sadness at seeing the physical decline of a family member.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on June 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Peter Friedman can feel every gristly painful moment when his elbow goes out in a baseball game at the end of 8th grade. Pitching and photography are his life....and now one of them seems to be over. Peter can't quite come to terms that his baseball career has been cut short, but in the meantime, he throws himself into photography, a skill he learned at his grandfather's knee, and something he has a real talent for. Through his camera, he meets Angelika, another talented photographer and together they face the school year, with all the changes it brings. The story has humor without being non-stop comedy, and serious points without being gloomy. Generous white space and the punchy, readable writing style make this something I'd recommend for 6-8th grade readers.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: I checked it out of the library
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Format: Paperback
CURVEBALL is a fast-paced, moving book filled with high school romance and tragic events with Peter's family. I enjoyed this book because it relates to things that can happen to a high school student. Peter is just a normal kid that lives in Pennsylvania where everything happens. This book sparked my interest from the beginning because of my love for sports. I don't enjoy reading books, but this was one I could not stop reading. The chapters kept ending in the middle of events, so I had to keep reading to find out more. If you love sports, romance, and even a book about family, this is a must read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By OpheliasOwn VINE VOICE on July 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jordan Sonnenblick has this uncanny ability to take a serious subject, battle the dramatic situation with bittersweet class, and inject the funny that makes such a serious topic digestible. I don't know how he does it, but I keep coming back for more. So when Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip was released, I knew it was going to hit the ball out of the park (pun intended!).

Peter always assumed he would enter 9th grade with his best friend AJ and their dynamic pitcher/catcher combo would land them on varsity. What he didn't expect that ignoring that clicking pain in his elbow would cause his elbow to actually fall apart and never go back together again. After much surgery and recovery time, Peter gets the life-altering news that his baseball career is over. Just over. He can't bring himself to tell AJ the truth, so he starts spending time with his grandfather over the summer. His grandfather has always been a photographer and has taught Peter a lot over the years. But with all the time he is spending with Grampa leads him to believe something isn't quite right.

Grampa is forgetting things and spacing out a lot. Peter tries to talk to his mother about it, but she doesn't want to admit anything is wrong. When Grampa gives Peter all his camera, Peter shakes off the feeling that something is really wrong. Without baseball in his life, he needs a new focus and begins to enjoy his new elective: Photography. Of course it doesn't hurt that the only other freshman in the class is a girl Peter finds whole-heartedly intriguing named Angelika. Peter and Angelika begin photographing the sports teams for the school newspaper, but despite his great year at school, something is still tugging on Peter's conscience about his grandfather.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Young Mensan BookParade on April 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip" by Jordan Sonnenblick was about a freshman named Peter, who the summer before had severely injured his arm pitching. The injury completely disabled him from being able to play baseball, his lifelong passion, and made him feel separated from his best friend AJ, another pitcher whom he had grown up with. Throughout his freshman year, he explores his other passion, photography, with his Grandpa, a professional photographer, and a fellow classmate, Angelika. As the year goes on you get to experience Peter's hilarious confusion as he is thrust into many awkward and embarrassing situations. However, his Grandpa's memory begins to fade, and he struggles with telling his parents what's happening.

Other kids would enjoy this book because it has a realistic approach about kids lives while still being very humorous. Boys and girls ages 11-15 would love this book, boys and girls for the humor and girls for the romance.

My favorite parts of the book were during Peter's photography classes, where he was often caught in embarrassing situations. I think the parts of the book with Peter's Grandpa are special in that they show a unique relationship that's both funny, and at times, melancholy.

I really liked the book overall, and give it a five-star rating. I think it may be Jordan Sonnenblick's best book yet.

Review by Young Mensan Daniel, age 14
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More About the Author

Here's my bio from the paperback version of _Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie_:

"Jordan Sonnenblick attended amazing schools in New York City. Then he went to an incredible Ivy League university and studied very, very hard there. However, due to his careful and well-planned course selection strategies, he emerged in 1991 with a fancy-looking diploma and a breathtaking lack of real-world skills or employability.

Thank goodness for Teach for America, a program which takes new college graduates, puts them through 'teacher boot camp', and places them in teaching positions at schools in teacher shortage areas around the country. Through TFA, Mr. Sonnenblick found his place in the grown-up world, teaching adolescents about the wonders and joys, the truth and beauty, of literature.

Mr. Sonnenblick always wanted to be a writer, too, so one day in 2003 he started in on the book that became Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie. This book was inspired by several aspects of the author's real life: like Steven, the main character in the novel, he really plays the drums, he really went through an incredibly awkward year when he was 13, and he really was completely spastic around girls until right around his 21st birthday. The made-up parts of the book are all reflections of the author's basic philosophy, which is that the world is a tough place, so you'd better be kind and laugh a lot.

Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie was published by Scholastic Press in 2005 to great acclaim, and was named to several Best of 2005 lists, including the ALA's Teens' Top Ten.

In October 2006, Scholastic will release Mr. Sonnenblick's second novel, Notes from the Midnight Driver, which is about drunk driving, lawn gnomes, divorced parents, a unique old man, and a beautiful girl with deadly hobbies.

Mr. Sonnenblick lives in Bethlehem, PA with the most supportive wife and lovable children he could ever imagine. Plus a lot of drums and guitars in the basement."

I think that pretty much sums it up.

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