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Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs Paperback – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763658529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kevin Boland has been too busy with baseball and his girlfriend, Mira, to write much poetry since we first met him, in Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (2003). In this verse-novel sequel, his dad gives him a new journal, and Kevin remembers how much he likes writing. His already waning interest in Mira decreases further after he attends an open-mike poetry reading and meets Amy, who has a boyfriend and just wants to be “poetry friends.” The two teens exchange e-mails and poems, experimenting with form, including couplets, pantoums, and tankas. Kevin observes, “If she can write a sestina, I’m gonna love her madly.” The well-crafted poetry is firmly rooted in the experiences of regular teens and addresses subjects that range from breakups to baseball. Koertge works in some unobtrusive poetry instruction, and poems like Amy’s funny Transylvanian limericks and Kevin’s poignant reflections on “moving on” will inspire teens to try writing their own. Appealing and accessible, this sequel provides rewards on many levels. Grades 6-9. --Lynn Rutan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ron Koertge is the author of many acclaimed novels, including DEADVILLE, STONER AND SPAZ, THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS, and his first novel-in-verse about Kevin Boland, SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP. A two-time winner of the PEN Award, Ron Koertge lives in South Pasadena, California.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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Definitely a book both boys and girls can relate to.
Kristen M. Harvey
Kevin continues his Shakespeare ways, this time with the help of Amy, a girl who loves poetry just as much as he does.
Jenny, Wondrous Reads
One of the few poetry books written for boys in Middle School.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting mix of plot and delivery. Koertge combines YA story lines (Kevin is wavering between two girls he likes; dealing with his dad's foray into dating after the death of his mom, baseball) with a format that (sadly) will not grab most young recreational readers. I loved Koertge's demonstrations and explanations of various types of poetry. I hope anyone who teaches poetry or is encouraging young people to explore poetry will consider using this book or giving it as a gift, for that is its real strength.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a teacher and librarian it is always awesome when authors write books that can be used in the classroom. There are great examples of all different types of poetry here:

* Pantoum
* Blank Verse
* Haiku
* Couplets
* Sestina
* Elegy

and much more! Both of the authors books, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup and Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs, have wonderful, fluid story lines and it is awesome to watch Kevin (who strictly identified himself as an athlete) discover the magic of poetry.

I recommend this book for any parent, teacher or librarian who wants to have books about poetry that are great for reluctant readers because lets face it, telling a kid that you have a great book about poetry for them will probably result in a look of slight terror.

At a non-imposing 170 pages, Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs is an easy sell because it has sports for the guys and a little romance for the girls. For those kids who enjoy a tear-jerker there is also plenty of poetry/story line about Kevin's mom who has passed away and how he and his father are dealing with it.

I've recently dedicated a whole section in my library to books written in prose. You would be surprised how many there are out there and these two books will be part of the star attraction. Get these books now, seriously....with video games, TV, iPhones and everything else, kids are being exposed to things like poetry less and less. Who knows, maybe the kid you give these books to will be our next great poet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What's wonderful about this book, the sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, is the types of poems the hero writes: they are outstanding examples of what a high school poet can write. I can see that teachers would want to use this book in class. What's weak about the book is the plot: it's not that interesting. The hero seems oblivious, for a poet. Of course, he is a teen, so he does have a lot of learning ahead of him, but, ironically, the first book, in which the hero was bedridden and weak, had a more compelling plot. But if you're considering buying one of the many YA books written in free verse or, in this case, some traditional poetic forms, Koertge's are still at the top of the list.
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Format: Hardcover
"I like Amy already, if she can write
a sestina, I'm gonna love her madly.
Admire her, I mean. I'll admire her
madly." - Kevin Boland

Since his bout with mono, Kevin Boland's life has been more or less back to normal. Now Kevin's dad has given him a new journal, so Kevin's decided to mess around with poetry again. He's not sick anymore, he has plenty of other things to do, but writing poetry fills a need for Kevin - it gives him an outlet for whatever is percolating inside his mind. For the most part, what's percolating seems pretty good. Kevin's girlfriend, Mira, is still a part of his life and his baseball team has made the playoffs. It's a shame that those two things have to be separated, but Mira doesn't really know anything about baseball - or poetry.

It turns out there are a few darker things under Kevin's skin as well. His dad is ready to take the first few tentative steps away from grieving for Kevin's mother and Kevin isn't really sure he's okay with that. Then there's Mira. Yes, she's still really cute, but she's not always all that fun to be with. And would it be so hard for her to learn about either baseball or poetry? They are the two most important things in Kevin's life right now. It's while Kevin is musing on these thoughts that he meets Amy at an open mic poetry night. Amy, who is everything that Mira isn't. Kevin has a girlfriend. Amy has a boyfriend and she only wants to be poetry buddies anyway. So why can't Kevin get Amy off his mind?

This follow up to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup has all of the wonderful qualities that made that novel about Kevin's first forays into poetry such an interesting read.
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Format: Hardcover
I come in tired
from baseball practice, and Dad catches me
guzzling OJ right out of the carton.

"Want a journal?" he asks. "You're a writer.
All writers need journals."

I put the orange juice away and hold out my mitt,
the one Mom bought me. "I'm a first baseman."

"Who used to write poetry. Your teammates
called you Shakespeare." He hands me a notebook.

"And it doesn't have to be poetry. It doesn't
even have to be a journal. It could be a diary."

He lays it on the table, opens the first page, and writes with his favorite gel pen: Shakespeare's
Secret
Diary

Maybe I should start again. I play ball a lot, because if I don't, I get rusty.

All I need now are some secrets.

Kevin, a.k.a. Shakespeare, doesn't seem to have a lot of secrets, at least none that he feels like sharing. The people in his life, however, bombard him left and right with secrets that take him by surprise, and not necessarily in a good way. For instance, Kevin's dad has lately taken to throwing away all of his deceased wife's belongings --- much to Kevin's dislike --- and wants Kevin to meet a new woman, Anna. Kevin isn't sure what to think about his father dating, so firing off a poem or two is his best way of coping.

Kevin seems to be doing a lot of coping lately, especially concerning his girlfriend Mira. Sure she's cute, popular and funny, but she doesn't appear interested in anything that Kevin enjoys. This includes skipping all of his beloved baseball games, wrinkling up her nose at his poetry, and focusing on more important things, like the environment. Kevin likes Mira, but perhaps it's time to find someone he's more compatible with. Someone like Amy.
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