Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

To find more books by your favorite author, click on the author's name in the title...

Also, try searching by "historical fiction" if you're looking for novels at a certain time period...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free Baseball by Sue Corbett

coops. foul ball. Felix, playing on his baseball team, shakes his bottom at his teammates who are razzing him (a visual swear word).

foul ball two. Felix tells his coach a "white lie" that he feels a "little sorry" for.

foul ball three. Felix's mother can't take him to the ball park when he wins tickets from the local radio show to a local farm team's game. She is a hard-working, single mom and can't get time off work, so she sends him with the babysitter. A number of circumstances, fueled by his understandable resentment, lead to his hitching a ride in the luggage section of the team bus and taking over for the team's ball boy who did not show up for work. It was not qutie a strike but a definite foul that he stowed away when his mother was coming to pick him up! The circumstances of the book explain much better how this could happen.

I can't help but be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to a book that slips in a phrase describing Felix's math class as "dragging on exponetially." :)

Now the story slides into a homerun after these bumpy hits as Felix, who lives and breathes baseball, gets to care for the team's laundry, toss some balls with the manager, mingle with the players and play with the team's smart, mascot dog.

Felix’s mom eventually catches up with him at the end of a baseball-filled day in which Felix endears himself to the team. She tells Felix a wrenching story about his father, a famous and talented Cuban baseball player. The family tried to escape Cuba together, and his father selflessly gave up his spot on an overcrowded boat to give Felix and his mom a chance. He thought he might have a chance to join them later since he was a well-known ball player.

Instead, he was forced for political reasons to denounce them, and for political-protection reasons, he formally divorced Felix's mom. After it became clear that he would not be able to leave the country, he remarried. It’s an exceptional case. Felix comes from a Catholic background, but it’s barely alluded to, and isn’t part of this discussion with his mom. Such an exceptional case would be an interesting discussion...



Anonymous,  November 28, 2011 at 1:24 PM  

Thanks for the post! How do you decide which books to review? While I'm glad you have a lot of reviews of books that have no Catholicism mentioned, I'd love to see some reviews of mainstream published books that do present the Catholic faith. Any way to email you a wish list? :)

tween lit crit November 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM  

I get my book list pretty randomly. I'd like to see the list!

Anonymous,  November 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM  

Saint Training by Elizabeth Fixmer (older tweens) - girl growing up during Civil Rights and Vatican II era.

Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry (mid-tweens – boys, too!)

The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas (older tweens –teens) modern-day Catholic girl

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