Sunday, July 14, 2013

SIX INNINGS by James Preller

SIX INNINGS by James Preller is not your typical baseball novel.  Yes, there is spot-on play-by-play action and accurate details about little league baseball, but there is a lot more.  Preller brings life to his characters that create much stronger connections for readers than simple sporting fun.

It is the championship game.  The young players on both teams and their coaches are hoping for a win in this final game of the season.  Each player seems to have a different reason for playing.  Some are dedicated to the game and picture themselves playing long into their futures.  Others are just as happy that this is the end of the season and also the end of their baseball careers. 

Sam Reiser is at the center of all the action, but not because he is the star player.  Sam is the announcer for the game.  He longs to be on the field in the thick of things, but as the story unfolds, readers learn that Sam has cancer and isn't able to handle the rigors of actual play.  As long as he can stay focused on the action and narrate it for the fans, he is able to deal with the physical exhaustion, the nausea, the hair loss, and the fact that he may never play again.

With each successive inning, readers learn about the key players and their motivation on and off the field.  Preller's unique presentation of the game will enable readers to relate to players whose attitudes about baseball might reflect their own.  There is a little something for everyone in this one of a kind sports thriller.

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