Extra Innings-Robert Newton Peck

  • Title: Extra Innings
  • Author: Robert Newton Peck
  • Released: 2003-03-04
  • Language:
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN: 0064472299
  • ISBN13: 978-0064472296
  • ASIN: 0064472299


From Publishers Weekly Only the most ardent of baseball fans will likely cotton to this preachy, maudlin effort from the author of The Day No Pigs Would Die. When the rest of his immediate family dies in a plane accident, teenager Tate Stonemason survives. His leg shattered, he struggles with his grief, especially in giving up his dream of pitching in the major leagues. By the end, Tate conquers his inner demons with the help of his great-aunt Vidalia, an African-American woman adopted into his family after spending her early years touring with a "colored" baseball team called Ethiopia's Clowns. Peck devotes the second third of the book to Vidalia's history and the last third to Tate's great-grandfather, Abbott, so readers never fully identify with the young protagonist's predicament. Worldly Aunt Vidalia is a little too perfect, and Tate's worship of her is so artificially worded it rarely sounds authentic: "Vidalia, you are so wise, it's eerie," says Tate. "Is there anything you don't know? Honestly, is there?" The best parts of Peck's novel chronicle the sports adventures of Vidalia's childhood, which vividly capture the politics of mixed-race baseball in the 1930s. Elsewhere, clunky writing bogs down this tale in service of a moral. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-Sixteen-year-old Tate Stonemason survives the crash of a small plane that killed his parents and sister. Injuries from the crash also destroy his dream of playing baseball in the major leagues one day. Bitter and lonely, Tate is comforted by his Great-Granddad Abbott Bristol Stonemason and the man's adopted African-American daughter, Vidalia. She tells Tate of her early childhood spent with Ethiopia's Clowns, a Depression-era, all-black baseball team that barnstormed its way through the South, before she was adopted by the white Stonemason family. The long story within a story of her childhood is her legacy to the teen. After her death, he finds a reason to go on with his life, as he begins to write Vidalia's oral history. The account of the barnstorming team, getting by on a shoestring and finding kindness and hatred in the deep South, is the best part of this book. Many readers, however, will find it difficult to plow through the elaborate dialogue that can best be described as baroque. Unfortunately, Tate and his relatives seem rather remote and artificial creations. At the novel's end, readers may find it difficult to care much about the boy because they haven't gotten to know him very well.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the edition. pdf