From Publishers Weekly
Nappi (Echoes from the Infantry
) has produced a knowledgeable yet unsentimental book starring an autistic teenager with a fearsome fastball. Milwaukee Brewer's manager Arthur Murphy recruits 17-year-old farm boy Mickey Tussler as a pitcher for his team. And though Mickey's slowness enrages his impossibly cruel father (who abuses his wife and derides Mickey as a "retard"), the boy's dad is happy to collect his son's pro baseball salary. In short order, Mickey achieves local stardom despite his mental disability and his teammates' clubhouse pranks. Lefty Rogers, the Brewers' southpaw ace, resents Mickey's triumphs on the mound and plots to sabotage his rival's budding career. At the same time, Murphy romances Mickey's much-abused mother and leads his resurging team in a hot pennant race. The writing is clear and direct, and there's no confusing who's a good guy and who's a bad guy. The baseball elements really sing; baseball fans will find much to appreciate, while the sports treatment of triumphing over adversity adds crossover appeal to the YA market. (May)
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In an age where scandal has taken over sports, especially baseball, it was refreshing to finally be transported to an age where the game is all that matters. Nappi does an incredible job bringing these people and players to life. A great read. -- Brian Kilmeade, author, The Games Do CountA touching story of finding one's dream even when the cards dealt to one are poor. -- Midwest Book Review The Legend of Mickey Tussler is a very good story that I'm sure will resonate with those readers who have experience with special needs children and teens... -- BaseballBookReview.com
Praise for THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER: "In my work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America I see all kinds of challenges facing kids today, and this book does a very good job of treating gifted kids and teenagers with sensitivity and understanding in coping with and meeting these challenges." --Alex Rodriguez
"A compelling tale that will touch the hearts of fans of the game everywhere." —Fergie Jenkins, Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame Pitcher
"A story with something for everyone. "THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER "is" "a walk off homerun." —Larry Izzo, New York Mets Scout
"A powerful baseball story, certain to rank among the best ever written.” —Don Williams, retired sports columnist, Newark Star Ledger
"Riveting. Rewarding. THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER reaches the heart the way Alex Rodriguez reaches the bleachers." - Bill Madden, New York Daily News