From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Ty Cutter loves baseball, but he is just not cut out to play the game. He is awkward and tentative and totally unlike his sister, Daisy, who excels at anything she tries. Worse yet, he has been forced to play every inning during the Pee Wee League season while the more talented players warm the bench because his father, "the Professor," coaches the team. This novel takes readers from the top of the first inning to the wrap-up of a humiliating playoff game. Ty tells his story in between the play-by-play and converses with the only teammate who will speak to him–Daisy, the scorekeeper. Runs are scored, runners are called out, balls are caught while the siblings banter and discuss their father's bullying behavior and their views on life. The book is funny, poignant, and deeper than one might think at first glance. Its deceptively uncomplicated plot makes it a great choice for reluctant readers and certainly for baseball players and fans.–Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
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Gr. 3-5. Told over the course of the last Pee Wee baseball game of the season for the Brewers of Babylon, Arizona, Jennings' novel lays out the inglorious career of narrator Tyrus Cutter. Although he has been named for Ty Cobb, 11-year-old Ty doesn't yet have the playing skills of his namesake, and he sees himself as a huge disappointment to his father, who is also his coach. Instead, Ty has mastered self-deprecating humor, which he delivers alternately from the dugout and right field. He distracts himself from suffocating heat and impending embarrassment with visions of Alaska, prayers for a rain-out, and conversations with his sister. Jennings captures both the petty tyrants some coaches become and the great drama of one baseball game, even at the Pee Wee level. On the field, Ty still trips on baseballs, but he gradually comes to understand what his wise, independent sister has been trying to tell him. The Brewers don't triumph in the last inning, nor is every strand of the story neatly resolved; but, as Ty Cobb used to say, baseball is "not pink tea," and neither is real life. Abby NolanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved