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STRIKE TWO by Amy Goldman Koss

STRIKE TWO

By Amy Goldman Koss

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2607-4
Publisher: Dial

A bitter strike creates a family split possibly beyond even baseball’s power to mend, in this engaging tale from the author of Stranger in Dadland (p. 185). Gwen is eager for a summer of softball with teammate, cousin, and closest friend Jess, but that field of dreams loses its luster when the local newspaper that sponsors their team is hit by a strike. Gwen and Jess learn that their twin dads are on opposite sides of the dispute—a fact that takes on more and more weight as the strike goes on, tensions mount, and ugly incidents begin to occur. At first, Gwen has no idea what it all means, but as a new “us vs. them” attitude polarizes even the children in management and labor families, as she overhears talk of scabs and scare tactics, and as she sees widening rifts develop within her family, even between her own parents, annoyance gives way to confusion, fear, and despondence. Soon even she and Jess are on the outs. So what is there to do but organize a game between the strikers’ kids and managements’? Fortunately for the tale’s credibility, though news of the strike’s settlement happens to come during that game, sparking a jubilant, all-is-forgiven celebration, it’s really a coincidence. The real victory here is the convincing way Gwen inches past that feeling of powerlessness to the realization that, while not all problems have simple solutions, there’s nothing stopping her from stepping up to the plate and taking some healthy swings. (Fiction. 11-13)