Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Pitcher by William Hazelgrove

Today is my stop on Blog Tour for The Pitcher by William Hazelgrove. Please enjoy my review and please don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal cash!

pitcherThe Pitcher “I never knew I had an arm until this guy called out, “Hey you want to try and get a ball in the hole, sonny?” I was only nine, but mom said, “come on, let’s play.” This Carney guy with no teeth and a fuming cigarette hands me five blue rubber balls and says if I throw three in the hole we win a prize. He’s grinning, because he took mom’s five bucks and figures a sucker is born every minute. That really got me, because we didn’t have any money after Fernando took off, and he only comes back to beat up mom and steal our money. So I really wanted to get mom back something, you know, for her five bucks.” A boy with a golden arm but no money for lessons. A mother who wants to give her son his dream before she dies. A broken down World Series pitcher who cannot go on after the death of his wife. These are the elements of The Pitcher. A story of a man at the end of his dream and a boy whose dream is to make his high school baseball team. In the tradition of The Natural and The Field of Dreams, this is a mythic story about how a man and a boy meet in the crossroads of their life and find a way to go on. You will laugh and you will cry as The Pitcher and Ricky prepare for the ultimate try out of life.  

My Thoughts:

Junior Library Guild Selection for Fall
Amazon Bestseller List for Hispanic Fiction
Amazon Bestseller List for Baseball

No wonder this book was on these three lists! This book is a winner all around. Well-written, relevant to today’s societal issues, this book will engage sports fans and non-sports fans alike. Written with early teens as his audience, William Hazelgrove tells the story from Ricky Hernandez’ point of view.

Ricky’s dream is to be a Major League Baseball pitcher….but first he has to make the high school team because if “you don’t make the high school team, then it’s game over.” Ricky 

has been working hard at his pitching. He’s got a 75 mile and hour fastball, but no control. Ricky’s mom Maria is the assistant coach of Ricky’s baseball team and helps him practice every day. She tries to teach him how to pitch, but not being a pitcher herself, she tries to teach him out of a book. Tryouts are coming at the end of summer, and Ricky has to be ready. So Maria sets out to get the Pitcher (their neighbour, an MLB pitcher who won the World Series) to coach Ricky.
While this book is written about baseball, it really is about more than that. I liked how the author was able to weave in multiple themes. This was a complex novel and the author did a good job weaving the parts together. Maria has lupus, and without a job, there is no way to pay the doctor’s bills. Besides, there’s no time to keep going to the doctor when she’s doing all she can to help Ricky realize his dream. The Pitcher lives in his garage drinking beer and watching baseball all day long. Ricky lives in a difficult situation – his mom’s ex keeps coming around demanding money and abusing them, he has dyslexia, and the other pitcher on his team is out to get him.

You will run the entire gamut of emotions when you read this story. It pulls at the heartstrings, but gets down to the truth. Success takes work, never give up.

I found this book to be quite enjoyable, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this book on the grade 6-7 classroom reading lists. One caution however – this book does contain some foul language.

I gave this book 4 stars.

 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. A free product does not influence my opinion. All thoughts are my own.

william       Author William Hazelgrove William Hazelgrove is the best selling author of five novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks Mica Highways and Rocket Man and The Pitcher His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. His latest novel Rocket Man due out May 1, 2013 was chosen Book of the Year by Books and He runs a political cultural blog, The View From Hemingway’s Attic. A forthcoming novel, The Pitcher will be out Sept 1, 2013. He lives in Chicago.

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/27/11 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
   a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments :

Post a Comment