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BEANBALL by Gene Fehler


by Gene Fehler

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-84348-0
Publisher: Clarion

Luke “Wizard” Wallace is a high-school athlete, more than proficient in several sports. It’s baseball, though, where he really shines, as a centerfielder who can make impossible catches and as a hitter who comes through in the clutch. In one horrific moment everything changes. He’s hit in the face with a pitch and his eye is severely damaged. Fehler employs the voices of Luke, his family, teammates, opposing team members, coaches, friends and more to tell the story of the injury and its aftermath. Told in brief punches of free verse, each view differs in perspective and is influenced by the personality of the narrator. The opposing coach makes excuses for instructing his pitcher to brush Luke back, in spite of many wild pitches. The pitcher who threw the ball is riddled with guilt. Many staunch friends remain and new ones are discovered. The reader gets a clear picture of who these people are and how they perceive Luke. Although some of the characterizations are a bit stereotyped, each voice maintains its individuality, with all the voices combining seamlessly to tell a powerful story. In his debut novel, Fehler succeeds at every level. (Fiction. YA)