DEAN DUFFY by Randy Powell


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Decision Time for Dean Duffy, high school baseball ex-star, now graduated. Once a shoo-in for the majors, Dean has not only been knocked off the mound by an arm injury, he's seen his spectacular batting average shrink during his junior and senior years. Now he has no idea what to do next--until his mentor Jack Trant, once a major leaguer, offers him a second shot: an apartment where he can get away from everyone to think things over and a one-semester sports scholarship to a small college. He takes the apartment, looks up two acquaintances who have taken wrong turns in life, and contemplates the pleasures of just drifting. He meets Karin, a young woman who gives him a gentle kick in the pants, and though his final decision about the scholarship remains unstated, Dean draws some conclusions about self-respect and responsibility that make his choice clear enough. Despite a moment of physical danger, when Dean climbs into a treacherous ravine to fetch an old home run ball, the story has a restrained, low-key tone (a golf game is virtually the only sports action), and Powell (Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking and Ashtray?, 1992, etc.) lays out a neat pattern of options and pitfalls. This simplicity might be just the ticket for some readers who have reached that pivotal point themselves, although other books, such as Julian Thompson's Herb Seasoning (1990) explore the topic more colorfully. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-374-31754-2
Page count: 170pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995


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