BASEBALL GENIUS wins Parents’ Choice Foundation Award

Baseball Genius

Spring 2017 Fiction

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Derek Jeter
Author: Tim Green
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481468640
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:

New York Yankees star Derek Jeter is the co-author with Tim Green, a former NFL player and commentator, of this engaging story of a boy, of baseball and of a gift.

Middle-schooler Jalen DeLuca loves baseball and he desperately wants to come up with the money required to play on the elite travel team. But his father is barely making ends meet as the owner and cook at their local diner. Jalen’s mother, a singer, left them years ago.

Jalen is biracial and bullied by a big galoot on the baseball team. But Jalen’s determined not to let anything stand between him and his dream of a shot at the big leagues. So he decides to sneak onto the grounds of a nearby mansion owned by Yankee second baseman, James Yager, to steal practice balls from the batting cage so he can sell them and raise the entry fee money for the travel team.

Jalen gets caught in the act, but cuts a deal to help Yager get back to the top of his game. How? Well, Jalen is a “baseball genius.” The kid has a gift for reading a pitcher, knowing what ball he’s going to throw before he throws it. It’s just what Yager, who is in a batting slump, needs to boost his career.

Jalen is an only child, but he has good friends helping him along the way, particularly Cat, the beautiful, rich, smart friend who always has the answer Jalen is looking for, sometimes before he even realizes it.

Short chapters, sympathetic characters and compelling writing make the book a fun read. Jalen is faced with difficult decisions throughout the story. Is he doing the right thing, making the right choices? Baseball fans will be rooting for him.

The one big problem with the book is the abrupt, cliffhanging ending. C’mon! The story is rolling and seems ripe for another chapter or two, but it ends like a ninth-inning strikeout with bases loaded. And then, like a TV show, the authors give a “sneak peek” into Baseball Genius #2: Double Play, which reveals that Jalen is in “a world of trouble.” In other words, buy the next book. The only reason to forgive this stunt is that the next book will probably be worth reading, too.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes about television, celebrities and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She is the co-author of a travel guide book titled The Dog Lover’s Companion to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with her husband, Don Oldenburg, a former Washington Post writer. She and Don, who have three sons, live in McLean, Va.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=35133&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.LV0aDegw.dpuf

award_recom
Parents’ Choice Foundation, established in 1978 as a 501c3, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys.

Best known for the Parents’ Choice Awards® program, the Parents’ Choice Award Seals are the Foundation’s internationally recognized and respected icons of quality.

The Parents’ Choice core team is a small group of talented and fun-loving alphabetically sorted professionals: Claire S. Green, Jackie Yau, and Keri Zeiler.

The Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts in areas of industry and interest, from dinosaurs to digital media and from mathematics to making mayhem. The Parents’ Choice Awards committee members hail from families across the country.
Our product evaluation process is lengthy and comprehensive. It’s a multi-tiered process with its roots in a four page questionnaire that queries developmentally appropriate content and challenges, the product’s design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being.
Review:

New York Yankees star Derek Jeter is the co-author with Tim Green, a former NFL player and commentator, of this engaging story of a boy, of baseball and of a gift.

Middle-schooler Jalen DeLuca loves baseball and he desperately wants to come up with the money required to play on the elite travel team. But his father is barely making ends meet as the owner and cook at their local diner. Jalen’s mother, a singer, left them years ago.

Jalen is biracial and bullied by a big galoot on the baseball team. But Jalen’s determined not to let anything stand between him and his dream of a shot at the big leagues. So he decides to sneak onto the grounds of a nearby mansion owned by Yankee second baseman, James Yager, to steal practice balls from the batting cage so he can sell them and raise the entry fee money for the travel team.

Jalen gets caught in the act, but cuts a deal to help Yager get back to the top of his game. How? Well, Jalen is a “baseball genius.” The kid has a gift for reading a pitcher, knowing what ball he’s going to throw before he throws it. It’s just what Yager, who is in a batting slump, needs to boost his career.

Jalen is an only child, but he has good friends helping him along the way, particularly Cat, the beautiful, rich, smart friend who always has the answer Jalen is looking for, sometimes before he even realizes it.

Short chapters, sympathetic characters and compelling writing make the book a fun read. Jalen is faced with difficult decisions throughout the story. Is he doing the right thing, making the right choices? Baseball fans will be rooting for him.

The one big problem with the book is the abrupt, cliffhanging ending. C’mon! The story is rolling and seems ripe for another chapter or two, but it ends like a ninth-inning strikeout with bases loaded. And then, like a TV show, the authors give a “sneak peek” into Baseball Genius #2: Double Play, which reveals that Jalen is in “a world of trouble.” In other words, buy the next book. The only reason to forgive this stunt is that the next book will probably be worth reading, too.
Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes about television, celebrities and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She is the co-author of a travel guide book titled The Dog Lover’s Companion to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with her husband, Don Oldenburg, a former Washington Post writer. She and Don, who have three sons, live in McLean, Va.
– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=35133&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.LV0aDegw.dpuf

Baseball Genius

Spring 2017 Fiction

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Derek Jeter
Author: Tim Green
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481468640
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:

New York Yankees star Derek Jeter is the co-author with Tim Green, a former NFL player and commentator, of this engaging story of a boy, of baseball and of a gift.

Middle-schooler Jalen DeLuca loves baseball and he desperately wants to come up with the money required to play on the elite travel team. But his father is barely making ends meet as the owner and cook at their local diner. Jalen’s mother, a singer, left them years ago.

Jalen is biracial and bullied by a big galoot on the baseball team. But Jalen’s determined not to let anything stand between him and his dream of a shot at the big leagues. So he decides to sneak onto the grounds of a nearby mansion owned by Yankee second baseman, James Yager, to steal practice balls from the batting cage so he can sell them and raise the entry fee money for the travel team.

Jalen gets caught in the act, but cuts a deal to help Yager get back to the top of his game. How? Well, Jalen is a “baseball genius.” The kid has a gift for reading a pitcher, knowing what ball he’s going to throw before he throws it. It’s just what Yager, who is in a batting slump, needs to boost his career.

Jalen is an only child, but he has good friends helping him along the way, particularly Cat, the beautiful, rich, smart friend who always has the answer Jalen is looking for, sometimes before he even realizes it.

Short chapters, sympathetic characters and compelling writing make the book a fun read. Jalen is faced with difficult decisions throughout the story. Is he doing the right thing, making the right choices? Baseball fans will be rooting for him.

The one big problem with the book is the abrupt, cliffhanging ending. C’mon! The story is rolling and seems ripe for another chapter or two, but it ends like a ninth-inning strikeout with bases loaded. And then, like a TV show, the authors give a “sneak peek” into Baseball Genius #2: Double Play, which reveals that Jalen is in “a world of trouble.” In other words, buy the next book. The only reason to forgive this stunt is that the next book will probably be worth reading, too.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes about television, celebrities and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She is the co-author of a travel guide book titled The Dog Lover’s Companion to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with her husband, Don Oldenburg, a former Washington Post writer. She and Don, who have three sons, live in McLean, Va.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=35133&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.LV0aDegw.dpuf

Baseball Genius

Spring 2017 Fiction

Ages: 8 – 12 yrs.
Author: Derek Jeter
Author: Tim Green
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481468640
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:

New York Yankees star Derek Jeter is the co-author with Tim Green, a former NFL player and commentator, of this engaging story of a boy, of baseball and of a gift.

Middle-schooler Jalen DeLuca loves baseball and he desperately wants to come up with the money required to play on the elite travel team. But his father is barely making ends meet as the owner and cook at their local diner. Jalen’s mother, a singer, left them years ago.

Jalen is biracial and bullied by a big galoot on the baseball team. But Jalen’s determined not to let anything stand between him and his dream of a shot at the big leagues. So he decides to sneak onto the grounds of a nearby mansion owned by Yankee second baseman, James Yager, to steal practice balls from the batting cage so he can sell them and raise the entry fee money for the travel team.

Jalen gets caught in the act, but cuts a deal to help Yager get back to the top of his game. How? Well, Jalen is a “baseball genius.” The kid has a gift for reading a pitcher, knowing what ball he’s going to throw before he throws it. It’s just what Yager, who is in a batting slump, needs to boost his career.

Jalen is an only child, but he has good friends helping him along the way, particularly Cat, the beautiful, rich, smart friend who always has the answer Jalen is looking for, sometimes before he even realizes it.

Short chapters, sympathetic characters and compelling writing make the book a fun read. Jalen is faced with difficult decisions throughout the story. Is he doing the right thing, making the right choices? Baseball fans will be rooting for him.

The one big problem with the book is the abrupt, cliffhanging ending. C’mon! The story is rolling and seems ripe for another chapter or two, but it ends like a ninth-inning strikeout with bases loaded. And then, like a TV show, the authors give a “sneak peek” into Baseball Genius #2: Double Play, which reveals that Jalen is in “a world of trouble.” In other words, buy the next book. The only reason to forgive this stunt is that the next book will probably be worth reading, too.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2017 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes about television, celebrities and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She is the co-author of a travel guide book titled The Dog Lover’s Companion to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with her husband, Don Oldenburg, a former Washington Post writer. She and Don, who have three sons, live in McLean, Va.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=35133&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.LV0aDegw.dpuf


Teaming Up for “Baseball Genius”

Two sports stars are turning a new page in their retirement. Tim Green has penned his 19th book for middle schoolers with the help of legendary New York Yankee Derek Jeter.

“Baseball Genius,” is a young adult novel that tells the story of Jalen, named after Jeter’s nephew, who is an average kid with extraordinary talent. Like many of Tim’s books this is more than just a sports story, it shines light on elements of perseverance, kindness, and overcoming challenges. The book also sends a very important message with a tough female character who represents the strong women in his life.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW ON  BRIDGE STREET

“Baseball Genius” is now available wherever books are sold. To learn more about the book or any of the books Tim has written, visit timgreenbooks.com


Game changer Tim Green speaks to area students

Students from Ellis Elementary, East Buchanan Elementary, Clinton County Middle School, and East Buchanan Middle School all had the opportunity to hear author and former NFL football player Tim Green speak at East Buchanan High School in Gower on Thursday, March 30. Green told the children how books can be a “game changer” in their lives, how reading can make a person smarter (Reading is Weight Lifting for your Brain) and how you can experience so many things through reading.

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He also emphasized that through those experiences, he feels reading can help a person become kinder.

Pat Williams, Library Media Specialist for the East Buchanan School District, arranged Tim Green’s visit.

“We were very fortunate to be a part of his inspiring presentation. Our funding and transportation was provided by Scholastic Book Fair profits and PTA,” said Diane Shryock, Clinton County R-III librarian.

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Tim Green not only writes wonderful sports books for 4th -8th graders, but has also written more than a dozen books for adults. After studying writing at Syracuse University, where he was an All American football player, Tim was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, where he was a top defensive player for eight years.

http://www.clintoncountyleader.com/schools/article_233bb082-206f-11e7-ab2f-27637d362e92.html


Books That Speak the Truth to Boys

A new generation of frank novels for teens and preteens aims to do what Judy Blume has done for generations of girls

By Erin Geiger Smith
March 20, 2017 12:41 p.m. ET

“Spurt,” a book for boys 11 to 14, is filled with frank talk about exactly what’s happening to the main character’s young body. The reverse side of its eye-grabbing, pimples-and-all jacket features a dark blue cover for a different, fake book, a nod to the notion a young reader may prefer his friends think he’s reading up on hot-air balloon disasters.

The book, by Australian author Chris Miles and released in February in the U.S., is just one example of a popular and expanding genre of novels for adolescent and preteen boys. They recall the way Judy Blume entertained, comforted and informed generations of young girls.

These new stories reflect the humor and complications of boys’ lives as they truly know them and present fully formed, nuanced characters of both sexes, say booksellers, authors and educators.

In the past, such novels were “more likely to be picked up by girls, and shared between girls, too,” says Liz Kotin, content director at Brightly, a reading resource website for parents run by publisher Penguin Random House. While Harry Potter and Percy Jackson broadened the idea of boys at the center of novels, Ms. Kotin says, these newer offerings put boys in the forefront differently. They deal mostly in reality and dig into boys’ daily experiences.

Books published since 2016 include Richard Peck’s “The Best Man,” about a young boy searching for male role models; Kwame Alexander’s “Booked,” a sports-related story written in verse; Jake Gerhardt’s “Me and Miranda Mullaly,” a story with three male protagonists that talks about crushes from the boys’ point of view; and “Going Where It’s Dark,” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, about a young boy with a stutter dealing with bullying.The real cover art of ‘Spurt,’ by Chris Miles. The book, which focuses on puberty, also has a fake jacket, below, for readers embarrassed by the topic.

Jason Reynolds’s “As Brave as You” was one of his two entries on the Chicago Public Library’s 2016 list of best new titles for third through eighth graders. It’s a book that Chicago library staff member Liv Hanson handed to a reluctant 9-year-old reader.

“There was something about [main character] Genie’s questioning process and the early mention of dog poop that really captured his attention,” Ms. Hanson says, laughing. He read the first chapter immediately, checked it out and loved the whole thing. “His mother is still thanking me.”

Mr. Reynolds has written or co-written five novels in about three years, including some for older adolescents and young teen readers.

He says he’s regularly asked about a scene in his first novel, “When I Was the Greatest.” It involves a boy at a high school party “in a backroom, with a young lady,” as Mr. Reynolds describes it, with the boy “scared and saying to himself, ‘I’m not ready.’ ”

“It’s OK to tell everyone you were afraid and didn’t do it,” Mr. Reynolds says. “We’ve always been told to pretend as if we’re not afraid. I want to air it out and let all the young men off the hook.”

Novels with these themes existed before, but the massive success of R.J. Palacio’s 2012 “Wonder,” about a grade-school boy with facial disfigurement, encouraged authors to see “more of an opening to be able to write stories for boys that allow their characters to feel in different ways,” says Brein Lopez, manager of Children’s Book World, a Los Angeles bookstore.

Authors are also more likely to include strong female characters in books on subjects that appeal to boys, including books about sports, Mr. Lopez says. He cites “Booked,” which follows a young soccer player with troubles at home and a crush on a girl.

Thoughtful and clever female characters are a priority for author and former professional football player Tim Green, who joined ex-baseball star Derek Jeter to write “Baseball Genius,” released in March and already a best seller. In the book, introspective middle-schooler Jalen’s propensity for math and love of sports combine to help save the career of an aging baseball superstar. One of his best friends is a girl who loves baseball. She challenges Jalen and helps him reason through weighty problems.

Mr. Green says he focuses on writing young female characters who “make really good decisions under pressure.” It’s not only reflective of his own daughters and recognizable to his female readers, he says, but “it’s really good for boys to read about a girl character like that.”

Adolescent boys and those who live with them know humor is often what they best relate to, says Mr. Miles, author of “Spurt.” The facts of puberty offered a natural place for relatable—and graphic—comedy. He says he used that frankness, plus cultural touchstones like reality television, to comfort boys in a difficult physical stage while also addressing their emotional growth. (He struggled with late-arriving puberty.)

The “cringe-worthy conversations” of “Spurt” caused Ragan O’Malley, a librarian at a Brooklyn, N.Y., private school, to want to cover her eyes a bit. But, she says, “I can see how a teenage boy would say, ‘Finally.’ ”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/books-that-speak-the-truth-to-boys-1490028082