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THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS by Deborah Wiles Kirkus Star


by Deborah Wiles

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-206068-8
Publisher: Harcourt

In Aurora County, Miss., only one baseball game matters: the annual contest between the All-Stars and the Raleigh Redbugs, scheduled this year at the same time as the once-in-a-lifetime pageant celebrating Aurora County’s. Worse, Frances Schotz, the girl who broke pitcher House Jackson’s elbow last year, is directing the pageant and their mamas have signed up all the other players. Already upset about witnessing the death of elderly recluse Norwood Boyd, a man somehow associated with his own dead mother, the quiet 12-year-old needs to find a way to save his team’s game and placate the Mamas in spite of his weakened arm. Wiles connects all these elements with snippets of Walt Whitman, quotes from baseball greats and the historical fact of segregation to forge a poignant and humorous coming-of-age story. Parts of House’s story first appeared as a serial in the Boston Globe. Although some characters appeared in previous novels, this one stands on its own, and with each iteration Aurora County becomes more real. (Fiction. 10-14)