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The Contract (Jeter Publishing) Hardcover – September 23, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 207 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Baseball Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–8—This first book in Jeter's middle grade baseball series offers an inspirational, fictionalized account of Derek's third grade year when his dream of a baseball career meets the realities of schoolwork and Little League competition. To help Derek achieve his career dream (playing shortstop for the New York Yankees), his parents draw up a "contract" of positive expectations, values, and rewards that the boy signs. Selected to play on Kalamazoo's Little League Tigers, Derek is disappointed when the coach's son is given the shortstop position. Derek's parents and the contract help him channel his frustration into team play, hard work, and excellence as a second baseman. When his math grades dip, he recognizes the need to improve and gets extra help. Derek's determination, positive attitude toward others, and exceptional athletic talent ensure his success. His parents are a remarkable reservoir of wisdom, guidance, and support: defending his baseball dream to a doubtful teacher, suggesting a positive spin on racial slurs directed at their biracial son; and, arranging Derek's reward of seeing a Yankees game. Factual biographical information and real relationships are smoothly blended with fiction. Engaging descriptions of young Derek's aspirations and vulnerability, vivid Little League baseball action, and realistic peer and coach conflicts will resonate with middle grade fans. This purposeful, celebrity-authored book focuses on the first of Jeter's 10 Life Lessons, "set your goals high."—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC

Review

For his eponymous imprint, the New York Yankees star leads off with a self-referential tale of Little League triumphs. In the first of a projected 10 episodes based on the same number of "Life Lessons" espoused by the lead author's Turn 2 Foundation, third-grader Derek turns in an essay announcing that his dream is to play shortstop for the New York Yankees (No. 1 on the Turn 2 list: "Set your goals high"). His parents take him seriously enough not only to present him with a "contract" that promises rewards for behaviors like working hard and avoiding alcohol and drugs, but also to put a flea in the ear of his teacher after she gives him a B-minus on the essay for being unrealistic. Derek then goes on to pull up his math grade. He also proceeds to pull off brilliant plays for his new Little League team despite finding himself stuck at second base while the coach's son makes multiple bad decisions at shortstop and, worse, publicly puts down other team members. Jeter serves as his own best example of the chosen theme's theoretical validity, but as he never acknowledges that making the majors (in any sport) requires uncommon physical talent as well as ambition and determination, this values-driven pitch is well out of the strike zone. Plenty of baseball action... (Kirkus Reviews August 1, 2014)

In the debut novel from Jeter’s post-retirement venture, Jeter Publishing, third-grader Derek dreams of a career playing shortstop for the New York Yankees. His parents even have him sign a contract—the first of many—stipulating expectations for his schoolwork, good sportsmanship, self-respect, and so on, with rewards if he succeeds. No multimillion-dollar contracts just yet! He will have to settle for dinner at his favorite restaurant. But when his grades start to suffer and he ends up stuck at second base on a losing Little League team, Derek begins to doubt if his dream will ever become a reality. At times, Derek’s rosy homelife and relentless positivity can be a little grating, especially considering the autobiographical nature of the book. Still, the ball game scenes are particularly well done. Jeter is adept at adding nuance to team dynamics; for example, the coach’s son continually receives undeserved accolades. With an automatic audience for this book, libraries would be hard-pressed not to have a copy on the shelf. (Booklist September 1, 2014)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Jeter Publishing
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481423126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481423120
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Baseball fans across the country have been watching with interest and sadness as New York Yankees captain and baseball icon Derek Jeter is playing out his last year in baseball. Many people wonder what he will do next, and his answer is : become a publisher.

Jeter has his own publishing imprint with Simon & Schuster, where he will publish books by authors he finds have an something interesting to say. The first book under the Jeter Publishing imprint is for children ages 8-12 titled The Contract. Jeter wrote it with Paul Mantell, and it is based on his own life as a Little Leaguer.

Young Derek Jeter, called 'old man' by his mom because he went to school in a suit and carrying a briefcase, is a talented baseball player and a serious student. When his classroom teacher assigns the students an essay describing their realistic future dreams, Derek really wants to write that his future plans include playing shortstop for the New York Yankees.

He discusses this with his parents, who encourage him to realize how difficult it will be, but with his excellent work ethic and determination and practice, he can do just that.

Derek signs up for Little League and ends up playing on a team with his best friend Vijay. He wants to play shortstop, but the coach's son is the star shortstop with a bad attitude.

Much of the book describes in detail many of the Little League games, and children who love baseball will so enjoy the thrilling play-by-play. But this book is also one parents should read to or with their children.

Derek would not be the great player he is today were it not for his parents. They created a contract for Derek, detailing what he needs to do to set himself on a path to achieving his dream.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start out by saying that I am a school librarian and I have two children: one child is a voracious reader, and the other child reads begrudgingly. My nine-year-old son (the begrudging reader) has to read every night for homework. The only time we could get him to read a chapter book was if my husband or I did "buddy reading" with him (we would take turns reading the pages out loud to one another). My son is a huge Yankees fan, and an even bigger Derek Jeter fan. I have tried to steer him towards books that would appeal to his interests, but he would rather be out playing baseball than reading about baseball. This has all changed since I bought The Contract for him. The past few nights, I will walk into his bedroom and he is sprawled out on his bed reading this book all by himself. I know he is comprehending what he is reading - last night he told me about Gary and Vijay and Pete, the coach's son. He told me about how the Little League coach favored his own son and let him play short stop, the position Jeter really wanted to play. He told me how Jeter's father couldn't be his coach because he was working on his masters degree. Besides helping my son to develop a habit of reading, this book has had another impact on him. My children write a list of chores they will do around the house every week. Last week he added to his list that he would "respect others, respect himself, and work hard" - all the values that are emphasized in The Contract. I read that this book is the first book in a projected 10-book series that will each emphasize one of the 10 life lessons that are key to the philosophy of Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation. Please, please, please, publish the other books soon so I can continue to guide my son into becoming a better reader and into becoming a great young man!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'The Contract' is an excellent and inspiring book for kids of all ages. The story follows Derek Jeter's Little League season with the Tigers and addresses many issues that are relevant to building a child's character. This book explains how important it is for kids to dream big, and describes the hard work and right choices that will make those big dream attainable. It also sets a beautiful example of how kids ought to treat each other on and off the field, and expresses the value of building quality friendships with other strong, positive individuals. Most importantly, this story portrays a strong, supportive family and sets a wonderful example of how children should respect their parents and love their siblings because rule number one is: family comes first. When his circumstances aren't lining up the way he had originally hoped, Derek continues to work hard, respect his teachers, coaches, and umpires, and follow through on his commitments.

This story also offers many important lessons for parents. Mr. and Mrs. Jeter are an amazing example to follow, and this book offers valuable insight for parents who aspire to raise respectful, hard working children. It is Mr. and Mrs. Jeter who create the contract for Derek to sign, and while they support him completely in following his dream, they also push him to practice greatness in all avenues of his life. Thanks to this book, parents all over the world now have a glimpse into what it takes to raise a champion- on and off the field. The Jeters prove this Proverb to be undeniably true: Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. 'The Contract' is full of life altering lessons and it tells an exciting story from our favorite baseball player's childhood- it's a Win/Win!
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