Friday, May 2, 2008

The Littlest Leaguer

Hoff, Syd. 1976, 2008. The Littlest Leaguer. New York: Harper Collins.

A reprint of an older book, The Littlest Leaguer, shows how constant the sport of baseball has remained over the years. The book is still relevant today, which is a blessing and a curse.

I am usually a fan of all things baseball and I love baseball titles to share with children. This book recounts the all-too-familiar story of Harold, the little little leaguer who spends his days "sitting the bench." Many children will likely identify with poor Harold.

I had great hopes for the ending. Harold realizes that if he crouches down, the pitcher has trouble finding the strike zone. In his one and only at bat for the season, with 2 strikes, Harold manages to get 3 balls called. In my mind, the greatest ending would be for Harold to get a base on balls - showing that his small size is a strong point, rather than a handicap. But alas, Harold closes his eyes and accidentally connects with the ball and scores a home run. An ending that emphasizes sports prowess over sports acumen. I would have liked the walk.

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