In Sullivan’s debut novel, an obese and lonely high school boy dreams of love, pitching a perfect game and finding his place in the world.
Funny how a boy who stands 6 foot 2 and weighs “north of three hundred pounds” can be invisible. But that’s how Henry “Biggie” Abbott likes it. He has discovered that the bigger he gets, the less fellow students make fun of him. He sits in the backs of classrooms, rarely speaks, and relies on Yahoo and Facebook to accumulate a massive friends list. Trouble is, he dreams of kissing Annabelle Rivers, and invisible boys don’t get the beautiful girls. When Biggie happens to pitch a perfect Wiffle ball game in gym class, he thinks maybe he could pitch a perfect game for his school’s baseball team. Younger brother Maddux says he would be the first player in school history to do so, and not even his father, a member of the Iowa Baseball Hall of Fame, threw one in his day. The first-person point of view works well here, demonstrating Biggie’s lonely self-absorption and his earnest forays in seeking connections. Though the pacing is sometimes slow, Biggie’s story will resonate with all those students who feel invisible and alone.
A bighearted story that will have readers rooting for Henry “Biggie” Abbott.(Fiction. 14-18)