STRIKING OUT by Will Weaver

STRIKING OUT

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A meaty story of a hard-working Minnesota farm family, still grieving five years after a son's accidental death. This summer, change is in the air: on a rare trip into town with his bitterly reclusive father, Billy, 13, rockets a ball back into the local baseball field and the stunned coach invites him to join the team; and Billy's mother breaks out of her cocoon to teach herself to type and land a job. Weaver describes the grueling work of farming in exact, engrossing (and sometimes hilarious) detail; and, with equal precision, Billy's education on the ballfield. The author expertly braids together plotlines pleasant and painful (including a particularly nasty one--a sleazy hired-hand rapes Billy's teenaged neighbor and threatens to accuse him if anyone talks), though many of these subplots dangle at the end, giving little sense of closure. Still, the complex characters grow and change in profoundly real ways; Weaver puts intense experience and emotion both within and between the lines; and his story--as rich in meaning as the title--is buoyed by optimism: ``Summer was over, yes. But there was next summer. There was always next summer.'' (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-023346-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1993




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