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Six Innings Hardcover – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312367635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312367633
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Dishing up a rare example of a character-driven tale that is also suspenseful and exciting, the author of the Jigsaw Jones series chronicles a magnificent championship game between two Little League teams that is as much about the players as the plays. Most of the action takes place on the field, and Preller leverages his love of the game and his experience as a Little League manager and coach to capture the games rhythms, routine plays, surprises, strategic moves, and shifting momentum that characterize baseball at its best. At the same time, he illuminates the personalities of most of the participants, from the bench clown and the slugger with a burning desire to smash things to the weak infielder who, despite gnawing self-doubt, makes a crucial play, and the game announcer, a former star whose life has been derailed by bone cancer. The baseball-as-a-metaphor-for-life theme is present but, thankfully, not in a dominant way in this absorbing sports novel. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

Review

"Perceptive and funny, sketches introduce us to the players while the nail-biting action keeps the pages turning. Kids will be nodding in agreement at the truths laid bare."--The Miami Herald, picked as one of the Best Kids' Books of the Year

“Preller raises his game with this perceptive group portrait of boys who play Little League baseball. . . Kids will be nodding in agreement at the truths laid bare. If Judy Blume could write a book about Little League, about its players’ deepest fears and secret dreams, it might come out something like this.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Dishing up a rare example of a character-driven tale that is also suspenseful and exciting, the author of the Jigsaw Jones series chronicles a magnificent championship game between two Little League teams that is as much about the players as the plays.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“This is a book whose emotional pull creeps up on you, pitch by pitch. Organized around the six innings of a Little League championship game, the story will appeal to longtime fans of baseball as well as those who know nothing about the sport . . .  this is a book as much about on-the-field action as it is life lessons....Even sports veterans will savor many of Preller’s observations—especially about pitchers (e.g., “All pitchers have a little bit of rock star in them”; “It is a job for an egotist. And an optimist. No others need apply”). Like the boys on the field and in the press box, readers will feel this is a game to remember.”—Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness

"Sharing tidbits of these boys’ lives, exposing diverse backgrounds and situations, Six Innings should hit home with many readers....A tale of baseball, friendship, growth, and coming to terms with hardships, this fast read will grasp any reader who enjoys sports."--School Library Journal

“Little touches make this novel stand out from other baseball fiction aimed at younger readers . . . Do not let this title ride the pine, but make sure it has a place in your sports fiction line-up.”—Jay Wise, VOYA

 

"Following the play-by-play builds suspense and brings the reader right into the action and the special world of baseball and the people who love it."--Kirkus Reviews


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Kudos to James Preller!!
Trish
When he was done he came to me and asked if I would get him more books like this one because he, "liked it better than his other books".
Herb & Anna
This is a novel that any sports fan will enjoy.
J. C. M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Ball on March 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read Six Innings with my sixth grader, who can't wait for baseball season to start each spring. We absolutely loved it!

This book is wonderful on so many levels. James Preller captures the game of baseball and all that it means to kids (and adults). But it's not just a book about baseball. It's about being a kid. It's about being part of a team. It's about being a friend.

Six Innings is the story of two close friends, Sam and Mike, and the ups and downs of their friendship, their families, their lives. Their story, like the stories of the rest of the little leaguers in the book, is revealed pitch by pitch, half-inning by half-inning, as a dramatic championship game is played.

The baseball action is entertaining, realistic, and filled with the twists and turns that come with the game. Young readers will identify with the authentic characters and dialogue. If kids don't recognize themselves somewhere in this book, then they'll recognize kids they know. Don't think that this is "just a baseball book" though - it is so much more. The depth of the story beyond the game and the challenges the kids face off the field will completely draw you in, too.

Should be required reading at little league diamonds around the country this spring!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Six Innings by James Preller is just that, the play by play description of six innings of a Little League baseball game. All of our nation's obsession with the sanctity of the game is concentrated in this afternoon of play by two teams of boys. The book opens in Sam Reiser's bedroom, where he is lying in bed, a young amputee now only able to announce his team's play, to speak the words for actions he can no longer perform. We think we are in for a problem novel, a book about adjusting to a handicap. Then the innings begin, and we realize that Preller has found the perfect dramatic structure in which he can write about twenty-four different boys in depth, each member of the team. Using the inexorable action of the six innings, he delineates the interplay of personalities, abilities, the age of the players and their temperaments. The hopelessness of young Patrick Wong in outfield, praying the ball won't go to him, vowing never to play again after his last humiliating strike out, is compared to the hard throwing pitcher, who already shows signs of a moustache. Although everyone cares deeply and intensely, the action is balanced by the humor of the identical twins, the serious one, Eamon Sweeney, and the leftie, Colin Sweeney, referred to by their coach as the Right Sweeney and the Wrong Sweeney and the attitude of the coaches themselves. In a tense moment, a coach takes his team aside and urges them to "Have fun." Six Innings has a lingering effect, the way baseball does, its pace subtle, leaving the lingering promise of summer.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's the kind of book that. when I got to the end of it, I didn't even know was meant for kids. I went on vacation and brought this book, not ecven glancing at the jacket copy that suggests it was meant for 11 to 13 year olds. I did think that the language of its rambunctious Little Leaguers was a bit on the sanitized side. The boys love to stage impromptu contests involving dialogue from their favorite baseball movies, everything from THE BAD NEWS BEARS to FIELD OF DREAMS, and evcen the mildest of these has dialogue racier than anything you'll find in James Preller's novel. So that might have tipped me off, but what do I know! I would definitely recommend it to adults.

The emotionally involving parts of the story take place during rhw championship game between Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies and NE Gas & Electric. The boy who does the scorekeeping for EGPS has a rare disease which has resulted in benching his once promising career at bat, but does he cry or whimper? Well, you'll have to see for yourself. At the other end of the spectrum is the boy who, while enjoying himself at baseball, has now found himself interested in other things, and today might be his very last day playing in organized sport. What a range of players, some with comic subplots, some with underdeveloped storylines, but most of them genuine individuals. The only defect in the story is Preller's working up the actual game pictured in "Six Innings," which is made up of one classic play after another, each one more spectacular than the last, and each reminiscent of a famous major league moment, so it's a bit unbelievable these ordinary kids would wind up in a game this exciting, but hear that whistle? It's time to -- play ball.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best juvenile sports books every written and it is all based on one six inning game. It is the championship game between Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies and Northeast Gas & Electric and Sam Reiser is the announcer in the booth. Like nearly all little league games, the players know each other very well, in some cases best friends are on opposite sides of the diamond. The rules state that every member of the team must play and of course some are much better than others. For some of the players, this will be the last and best game of their lives, even though they are terrified of having to make a play.
The story is a batter-by-batter description of each plate appearance seasoned with background on the player. One boy's father was a policeman shot and killed in the line of duty, another is jealous of his athletic sister that has been the center of attention and Sam the announcer is being treated for bone cancer. While these sidebars are part of the action, in general the players are living for the moment, doing all they can to bring a win to their team.
It is an exciting and tense story; it comes down to the last out of the game with the winning run on base. The boys are what you will find in any collection of boys, they range from the clowns to those that are dead serious about the game. This is a book that is hard to put down because it is all about the excitement of the event, not really about who wins and loses. It is a description of how little league baseball should be played and coached.
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