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Golden Arm
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Golden Arm
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In this riveting story about baseball and brotherhood, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks finds himself pitching his way out of poverty—one strike at a time. By "a premier author of...
In this riveting story about baseball and brotherhood, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks finds himself pitching his way out of poverty—one strike at a time. By "a premier author of...
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Description-

  • In this riveting story about baseball and brotherhood, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks finds himself pitching his way out of poverty—one strike at a time. By "a premier author of provocative YA sports novels" (The Bulletin).

    Lazarus "Laz" Weathers has always been shy, and his issue with stuttering when he speaks hasn't helped. Stuck in a Seattle trailer park, Laz finds baseball helps him escape from the world of poverty and drugs. When he gets an opportunity to pitch for the rich kids across town, he has a chance to get drafted by the major leagues.

    But playing for the other team means leaving behind his family, including Antonio, Laz's younger brother, who more and more, seems to be drawn to the dark world of the Jet City's drug ring. Now Laz will have to choose between being the star pitcher he always dreamed of becoming and the team player his family needs.

About the Author-

  • Carl Deuker is a celebrated author of "top-flight sports writing matched to uncommonly perceptive coming-of-age stories" (Kirkus Reviews). He describes his younger self as a classic second-stringer: "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." He was a teacher for many years in the Seattle area, where he now lives with his wife.
    carldeuker.ag-sites.net/bio.htm

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2020

    Gr 7 Up-As he enters his senior year of high school, Lazarus "Laz" Weathers's life already seems to be heading toward a dead end. Laz stutters, his struggles in school mean college isn't an option, the trailer park where he lives is about to be shut down, and his beloved brother has started hanging out with the local drug dealer. The only bright spot on Laz's horizon is baseball. Laz is a gifted pitcher, but his hopes of getting recruited for the minor leagues are dashed when his high school team forfeits at the beginning of their season. Fortunately, a last-minute chance to pitch for a wealthy school across town gives him one final chance to escape the trailer park and make a life for himself. Acclaimed sportswriter Deuker deftly weaves baseball action into a solid coming-of-age tale, as Laz navigates the class divide when the well-off Thurmans take him in when he switches schools. Pressures from coaches and scouts build, and Laz is forced into a reckoning as he must decide what is truly important to him-his career or his family. VERDICT Short chapters and easy-to-follow writing make this book a strong choice for any school with a collection of sports fiction.-Bobbi Parry, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, LA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2020
    A high school baseball player fights for his dream of pitching in the major leagues. Lazarus "Laz" Weathers--so named because he almost died while being born--is a pitcher living in Jet City, a trailer park in Seattle. With a speech impediment and a learning disability, Laz believes that baseball might be the only path available to him after high school. His half brother, Antonio, is 18 months younger and also likes baseball--but lately, Antonio has been hanging out with Garrett, a small-time drug dealer, which worries Laz. After the baseball program closes at North Central High, it's announced that Jet City will be demolished by developers, and his mother decides to move out of the city. Laz receives the opportunity of a lifetime: transfer to Laurelhurst High, which has the city's top team, and live with the family of their star player. Knowing he'll get better training and more exposure to college scouts in Seattle, Laz must decide whether to leave his family and chase after his dream. Deuker (Gutless, 2016, etc.) weaves an interesting plot dealing with socio-economic inequality and drug use into a cast of varied characters. Unfortunately, the secondary characters at times prove to be more interesting that the protagonist, whose characterization falls flat. With few physical descriptions or cultural markers, ethnicity is difficult to determine. An entertaining visit to the ballpark. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 1, 2020
    Grades 7-11 *Starred Review* Nineteen-year-old Lazarus (Laz) Weathers and his half brother, Antonio, live with their mother in Jet City, a dilapidated trailer park in Seattle. When the boys' high school scraps its baseball program, the former coach convinces a few guys to play in the summer, among them Laz. The ragtag team goes up against other high schools in the area, and Laz's incredible pitching catches the attention of Mr. Thurman, the father of a star player at affluent Laurelhurst High. Mr. Thurman offers Laz a room in their house so that he can attend Laurelhurst, play baseball, and help his son's team win the state title (the main reason for his generosity). Itching to get out of Jet City, Laz knows this could be his chance at a better future and accepts. Just as everything seems to be going his way, including catching the eye of some major league scouts, Antonio gets into trouble, forcing Laz to weigh the value of family against getting an offer from the pros. With short, fast-paced chapters, Deuker's realistic novel pits poverty, friendship, teamwork, self-reliance, and supportive adults against wealth, privilege, overambition, and overbearing helicopter parents. Even readers who don't like baseball will be riveted to this human-interest, underdog story. Readers who still love Matt Christopher's and John Feinstein's books won't want to put this down.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist (starred review) ★ "With short, fast-paced chapters, Deuker's realistic novel pits poverty, friendship, teamwork, self-reliance, and supportive adults against wealth, privilege, overambition, and overbearing helicopter parents. Even readers who don't like baseball will be riveted to this human-interest, underdog story."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Deuker weaves an interesting plot dealing with socio-economic inequality and drug use into a cast of varied characters. An entertaining visit to the ballpark."
  • School Library Journal "Acclaimed sportswriter Deuker deftly weaves baseball action into a solid coming-of-age tale, as Laz navigates the class divide when the well-off Thurmans take him in when he switches schools."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Readers will be plenty worried about Laz's future....cheer[ing] for Laz's next longshot chance."

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