Turner, Ann. Hard Hit.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

TURNER, Ann. Hard hit. Scholastic. 167p. c2006. 0-439-29660-3. $16.99. SA

Death of a beloved family member, in this case a father, is indeed a hard hit, and using the poetry format to tell of the impending death and the family's grief is a powerful means of conveying the intensity of feelings. Mark loves his father dearly, and they share an interest in baseball, so Mark tries to continue on the team through his father's illness. The four sections of the novel use baseball terminology to tell of the other, larger story: Wind Up; Strike One!; Extra Innings; Three Strikes! The language is spare but gut-wrenching: "They are starting my dad / on the medicine trail / like the Cherokee Trail of Tears / where you stumble / and fall along the hard way." At the end of the story...

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