From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up—Kit is a junior in high school when her younger brother is diagnosed with cancer. Despite the difference in their ages, they are kindred spirits who share a love of baseball. When Buddy loses his battle against the disease, Kit is devastated. Suddenly her family no longer functions as a whole. Instead they are like "…islands/too distant to matter." The teen must find a way to own her grief in order to mourn Buddy while at the same time joyfully celebrate the characteristics and quirks that constituted his presence in her life. Written in economical and accessible verse, this novel follows the pattern of the baseball season. Despite major holes in the characterization of Kit and Buddy, this slim work speaks volumes about the grieving process. Yeomans has very precisely selected her words to convey the fear and the grief that Kit feels. As with baseball, even though it seems that Buddy's death has brought everything to a halt, winter does end, and spring training will begin again. This novel will fit nicely alongside Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust (Scholastic, 1997) and Nikki Grimes's Dark Sons (Hyperion, 2005).—Heather M. Campbell, Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
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Sixteen-year-old Kit's normal, happy life is over when her younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia. A feisty eight-year-old kid who loves baseball, Buddy is Kit's good friend and soul mate, one she is robbed of when he dies. Yeomans weaves the baseball metaphor throughout free-verse poems to trace Buddy's decline to the poignant conclusion, "I'm calling the game." Yet the baseball year--and the book--is only half over. Kit and her parents struggle through postseason bereavement to spring training and develop a way of living without Buddy. The interesting plot structure works surprisingly well with both the topic and the narrative style. It also enhances the realistic portrayal of a family, grief stricken and out of balance, struggling to come back after a losing season. Frances Bradburn
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