What It Is About: Casey is a twelve-year old boy who loves baseball. You could say his whole world is baseball. He has a special talent when it comes "eyeing" the ball from the pitcher. He has never struck out and is quite proud of that record. When a couple of Kansas City Royals "big-wigs" show up at Casey's baseball game, his life is about to change. After a visit to the Royal's ball field, Casey's life is about to change. The team recruits Casey to be their newest team member and their "secret weapon." The team has had a rough go of it, and the managers of the team believe that Casey and his batting "talent" can change things for the team. Casey can't quite believe his luck and is so excited to be on this team. As the season progresses, Casey makes a name for himself and becomes somewhat of a celebrity. Some of this is positive and some quite negative. Casey is loved by some team members and not so much by others. Casey is loved by some fans and not so much by others. He must decide how he wants his role on the team to be played out. This decision isn't as easy as Casey would like it to be.
What I Thought Of It: To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would receive this story. I'm not a huge baseball fan and don't know much about it. I was presently surprised to find that I loved this story and this character right from the get-go. I was drawn into the story of this twelve-year old and his amazing adventure of becoming a player in the major leagues. I learned a lot about baseball, but more than that I enjoyed reading about all the "ins" and "outs" of a baseball game. The cast of characters were solid and added greatly to the story. It was realistic in the sense there were guys that wanted Casey on the team, and some that weren't so sure. I kept thinking that I would love to have Casey in my own class. He is a great kid and taught the adult characters a thing or two.
Who Should Read It: As a couple of my tweets and posts on Facebook said, this is the perfect story for the middle-grade reader. It is action-packed, fast-paced, and full of lots of surprises. In my opinion, readers in grades four, five, and six would be perfect for this story. The book may appeal to boys a bit more than girls, but that could also be a generalization. If you have a reader that is into sports, and especially baseball, then this is the book for them. The novel could also make for a solid read aloud because each chapter leaves the reader wanting more of the story. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars