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


REVIEW of BASEBALL GENIUS from School Library Connection

Baseball Genius

2017. 352pp. $16.99 hc. Aladdin (Simon & Schuster). 9781481468640. Grades 4-8

From the first page to the last, Jalen Deluca’s exploits with his friends will keep readers in suspense. Living with his dad in a run-down train station, Jalen helps his struggling father operate the Silver Liner Diner. More than anything, Jalen wants to get on a baseball travel team this summer, but he can’t afford the exorbitant fees. In a gambit to steal and sell signed baseballs from star Yankees player James Yager’s home batting cage, Jalen is caught by the player himself. In a panic, Jalen reveals his secret: he is a baseball genius, who just might revitalize Yager’s fading career. Jalen Deluca has a gifted math mind, with the ability to see, remember, and analyze a pitcher’s statistics with ease. Even better, using preternatural ability, he can predict the pitches with accuracy before they are thrown. This proves lucky for Yager, an aging future hall of famer who is in the crosshairs of the General Manager for his dismal batting average. Green and Jeter know how to grab readers and keep them hooked all the way through this middle grade sports fiction. It is a page turner for baseball fans who revel in realistic gamesmanship and play-by-play excitement. This is a winner! Lonna Pierce, School Librarian, MacArthur & Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools, Binghamton, New York

Highly Recommended


A Great Review by School Library Journal

GREEN, Tim & Derek Jeter. Baseball Genius. 352p. ebook available. S. & S./Aladdin. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481468640. POP

Gr 5-8–Green teams up with Jeter in his latest piece of sports fiction. Jalen is the son of an Italian immigrant. He lives with his father, who works long days at his diner trying to make ends meet. Jalen has serious baseball talent and has just made a travel team. The only problem is that he needs some extra cash to pay for his team fees. Jalen’s friends Cat and Daniel live near a Major League Baseball player’s house, and Yankees star James “JY” Yager routinely signs batting practice balls and sells them to benefit a youth sports foundation. Jalen knows that if he can get his hands on a few of those balls, he can easily sell them on eBay to pay for his travel team fees. What he does not see coming is an injured ankle keeping Yager home from a Yankees road trip—and Jalen is caught red-handed. Jalen tells Yager that he has the ability to read pitchers and knows which pitch any guy in the pros will throw before he even gets into his windup. Yager is on the verge of being replaced by a younger player, and his sole shot at staying on the Yankees’ roster is by going four-for-four in his next game. If Jalen can help him out from the stands, Yager will pay his travel team fees. The manager of the Yankees, however, has an entirely different agenda. Green is a prolific sports fiction writer, and having Jeter’s name grace the cover will keep this book in demand. Green does a nice job incorporating diverse characters throughout the narrative. Despite a predictable story, this title is sure to circulate. VERDICT Bound to be popular among Green fans and sports fiction middle grade readers.–Carli Sauer, Carmel Middle School, IN

School Library Journal, February 2017


HOME RUN receives a JLG award for Spring 2016

Junior Library Guild is a book review and collection development service helping thousands of school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books, saving them both time and money.

Junior Library Guild is a privately held company based in Plain City, Ohio. Founded in 1929, JLG provides the very best customer service in the industry. Our services help librarians with collection development and our members trust us to put only the best books into the hands of their eager young readers.

Season after season, year after year, their book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. We send these books on a monthly basis to our members, who receive them hot off the presses.

JLG selects books with the same care and attention you use when building your collection. Our editors know the children’s and young-adult literature landscape like no one else. And this credibility gives us a unique advantage, which benefits our members every month. The JLG editorial team reads the best books of the year well before they’re published. Publishers large and small value the prestige that comes with having their books named JLG Selections. They allow us to read and review more than 3,000 of their most anticipated books in manuscript or in preproduction stages. After narrowing that group to the very best 828 titles, we place our orders well in advance of publication dates (all JLG books are first editions) to provide you with new-release titles soon after they are first released.

This is how JLG membership allows you to get tomorrow’s award winners today.

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