Full disclosure -this is a baseball story and I’m not a fan of baseball, but I fell in love with the characters in this story. Rylander, the author of The Fourth Stall, has hit it out of the park with this coming of age baseball story. His character development is so well crafted that it is quite easy for us to picture Alex Weakerman, a 13-year-old middle schooler - that alone should give everyone the shivers as they remember how awkward those years were! And how about having a last name like “Weakerman”? It’s a joke waiting to happen. And if that was not enough, Alex has such a bad case of social anxiety that he has coined his own term for it – “Flumpo”. He’s a smart kid with a knack for statistics, primarily baseball data, but is unable to string words together that make sense when speaking to anyone except his immediate family.
However, his grandfather is the owner of an independent league baseball team, called The Hurricanes, and they bond over their love of the game. School is finally over for the year and Alex, along with his best friend, Slips, are looking forward to a long summer of baseball and hot dogs. But things don’t turn out exactly the way they had planned. Grandpa Ira passes away and Alex is lost. What will happen to the Hurricanes? Who will love and support the team now that his grandfather is gone? The Hurricanes have had their glory days but now barely win a game. . .
Things take an interesting turn when Grandpa Ira’s will is read and he has left the team to . . .Alex! Sure, he knows everything there is to know about baseball but being a manager is something completely different. First off, he’ll have to talk! Horrors! He wants to sit in his regular seat in the bleachers, write down each stat and eat hot dogs. That’s all he wants to do but there is a stipulation in the will that the Hurricanes need to win the playoffs to even remain a team or they will be sold to cover an unknown debt by Ira.
Come along for the play by play of this delightful summer story and hold your breath throughout, as we follow the ups and downs of this small Midwestern baseball team and it’s teenage manager!
Don’t miss this one – it’s a knuckle biter!!
I will be giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner. Simply “like” or comment on this post and you will be entered into the drawing.