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LUCKY by Wes Tooke


Maris, Mantle, and My Best Summer Ever

by Wes Tooke

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8663-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In 1961, the New York Yankees’ Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were in competition to see who might break Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a baseball season. Tooke takes the stuff of legend and fashions a story from the point of view of White Plains middle schooler Louis May, a Yankees batboy. Louis has a fabulous collection of baseball cards, an excellent memory for stats, a new stepmother and stepbrother and a mother living in the East Village. The cardboard characters and far-fetched plot are no match for the author’s determination to retell the story. Louis even sells his baseball-card collection (after vanquishing a bully who has made off with it) to help Maris get his lucky glove back. With no hook to pull young readers in or warmth to cheer them, it reads like an extended and unimaginative exercise in adult nostalgia. (Historical fiction. 8-12)