Peachtree Publishers, 2003
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN: 156145222X; Paperback ISBN: 1561453412
Ages 10 and Up
An adolescent girl learns that realizing a dream requires a good deal more than stubborn, steely resolve as she risks everything to follow her heart.
It's not fair! Thirteen-year-old Joelle Cunningham is passionate about baseball. She loves to watch it, read about it, and, most of all, play it. But when her family moves from Minneapolis to the small town of Greendale, Iowa, she quickly discovers that there are strict rules preventing her from playing on the school baseball team.
At Hoover Middle School, only boys play baseball. Girls play softball. It's not the same sport! Joelle tries to tell everyone. But no one is listening. Not Coach Carlyle—even though his baseball team is at the bottom of the league, he doesn't want her on his team. Not Ms. Fenner, the softball coach—she wants Joelle to use her big league swing to benefit the girls' team. Not her new friend, Elizabeth, who is growing tired of her complaints. Not even Jason, her older brother, who is too busy at college to be of much help.
But Joelle is determined to play baseball. And through some creative problem-solving and surprising alliances she finds a solution to her dilemma that brings the disputing sides together…and baseball to the girls of Greendale.
Author Dori Butler has created a high-spirited, indomitable character that young girls will admire and root for in this story of frustrated ambition and ultimate triumph.
“Determined Joelle is a fine protagonist. Readers will be caught not only by her drive to play ball and her willingness to take risks but also by her passionate commitment and the broadening vision… the well-paced plot will engage readers, who will be moved by the story of a young teen who stands up for what she believes and goes after what she wants.” ―Booklist
“Joelle is a well-drawn character, sometimes unsure of her place in the scheme of things, and at other times ready to take on the world… Breezy and fast-paced, with a feminist slant.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Filled with realistic emotions and dialogue, this involving tale has just the right amount of baseball action. It also provides an honest look at what it's like to be the new kid at school… a winning story that will appeal to many readers.” ―School Library Journal
- Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (honor book, Language Arts K-6novels) ―Society of School Librarians International 2003
- Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2003
- Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards (nominee) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2005-2006
- Volunteer State Book Awards (master list, 4-6) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians 2006-2007
- Massachusetts Children's Book Award (master list) ―Salem State College 2006-2007
- Mark Twain Readers Award (nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians 2005-2006
- Golden Sower Award (nominee, intermediate) ―Nebraska Library Association 2005-2006
- Young Hoosier Book Award (nominee, intermediate) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators 2005-2006
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