Nick’s welcome home from the hospital isn’t all that warm. Then again, it's just he and his dad now, and his father hasn’t smiled in a long time. It's obvious his dad won’t be giving him any breaks, and he seems to resent the limp Nick's developed as a result of Polio, which kept him in the hospital for over a year. His father's always busy playing catcher for the local semiprofessional team, and Nick had to do all the chores around the house. After being away for so long, he knows he doesn’t have any friends left. After all, he went from being the best pitcher in town, to someone who can’t walk without limping. He’ll never be able to pitch now. When an unlikely friendship begins with the girl next door (who's obsessed with baseball), Nick has someone to talk to and maybe play some light ball games with. At the stadium things are really happening. The famous Satchel Paige has come back for another season, and Nick can’t believe his luck. Especially when he gets to meet the great player, and the owner of the team gives Nick some important jobs. Satch takes a liking to Nick and pushes him to overcome his limp and the painful brace that he has to wear. Will Nick’s dad ever show him the affection he needs? Is it possible for Nick to move around without the brace? Will Nick ever get on the mound again? What will happen when they travel to towns that aren’t happy with a team made up of both black and white players? You'll have to read this story to learn more baseball history!
King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke brought history to life for me. I didn’t know anything about Satchel Paige’s baseball career, and even though the characters in this story are made up- I still learned a lot. I really connected with Nick because he's kind and struggling with the way his life has changed. My heart went out to him, and I was glad he was able to make a good friend who helped him see the brighter side of things. I could easily picture the baseball games that were taking place, and I loved imagining the stunts Satchel Paige performed in order to get fans to come to the games. What a talented player! I was sad to see what life was like for any baseball players who weren’t white. It's terrible to think that people wouldn’t let a talented player sign for the majors- simply because of his skin color. This book helped to show that if we don’t take no for an answer there may be consequences we don’t even see! Fans of baseball will definitely enjoy this book and the interaction between Nick and Satch. For those that don't like baseball- if you like to see people working to overcome challenges, this is a story you'll really get into. This book will be enjoyed by kids in third grade and up. A reminder to us all to never give up on our dreams!
Has anyone else read King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige? Or have you read another book by Wes Tooke? If so what did you think of it? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
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