Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Play Ball by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, and Jackie Lewis

A new school means new opportunities for Dashielle. For the first time, she'll be going to school with boys...and that means that there will be a baseball team. She knows that she's a good shortstop, but the coach and the principal won't even let her try out for the team. How can she prove what she's capable of when people won't even give her a chance?

I really love the messages that come through so strongly in this book. There's a strong feminist message, but there are also pieces that reinforce the importance of teamwork, family, and being true to yourself. Dashielle doesn't want special treatment; she wants a chance to show what she can do. While I would have loved to see more of a reaction from the female softball players (they show up early on and then are not really heard from again), particularly after Dashielle calls softball a "watered-down version of baseball," but I can understand that that didn't really fit into the narrative arc of the book. I like that Dashielle, for all of her strengths, isn't perfect; she's strong and hardworking and talented, but also blind to things that are going on her life. And, without giving too much away, I loved the ending. I was expecting a very Hollywood-style ending of everything turning out awesomely and happily-ever-after, and I like how the authors flipped my expectations and my understanding of what a happy ending means. This book has appeal for both male and female readers as well as younger and older readers. Forgive me for making the obvious pun, but this book was a real home run for me.

Learn more about Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir at their website. Learn more about Jackie Lewis at her blog.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Oni Press.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
The Catch by Rick Jasper
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir
Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball by Jennifer Ring

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