The World Series starts tonight (Let's go Cardinals!!). When you're not watching the game, enjoy some of these great baseball books:
Baseball Great by Tim GreenJosh's dad signs him up with Coach Rocky Valentine's youth baseball championship team, the Titans. He says Josh has what it takes to be a baseball great and the Titans will help him get there. Now Josh is gulping down Rocky's "Super Stax" milkshakes to build muscle and trying to fit in with his new teammates - older, tougher kids who can suddenly become violent. All Josh really wants to do is play ball, but as he gets in deeper with the Titans, there are questions he's just got to ask. As Josh and his new friend Jaden investigate their suspicions, they find themselves in a dangerous struggle with a desperate man who doesn't want them to expose the nasty secrets they uncover.
Far From Xanadu by Julie Anne Peters
Mary Elizabeth (or Mike) Szabo is the star of her school's softball team but because of problems stemming from her father's suicide, her depressed mother and her slacker brother, she has convinced herself that she can't go far. But when an exotic new girl, Xanadu, arrives in the small Kansas town, Mike's world is turned upside down. Xanadu is everything Mike is not: cool, complicated, sexy, and . . . straight. This heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful novel will speak to anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone just out of reach.
Center Field by Robert Lipsyte
Mike has his junior year well under control. Coach Cody has all but given him the starting spot as the Ridgedale Rangers' varsity center fielder. But then Oscar Ramirez shows up. Oscar is an amazing ballplayer, as talented at the plate as he is in center field, and it's not long before Mike loses control. He's on the bench, he's getting into fights, and he finds himself in weekend detention with Katherine Herold, the most mysterious, abrasive, alluring girl in school. Mike is lost, confused, and looking to Coach Cody to help him get back on track. But the coach has his own set of rules for Mike to play by, and the decisions Mike makes are going to impact more than just the starting lineup.
Heat by Mike Lupica
Michael Arroyo grows up in the shadows of hallowed Yankee Stadium, a boy forever on the outside looking in. His only chance to see his field of dreams? Pitch his Bronx all-star team to the district finals and a shot at the Little League World Series. But there is a problem. Michael is good - "too"good. Rival coaches and players can't believe a boy could be this good and be only twelve years old. And Michael has no way to prove it - no mother, no father, and a birth certificate that is stuck back home in his native Cuba. If the people from social services find out his secret, he will have an even worse problem: being separated from the only family he knows, his older brother Carlos.
The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
The last place Ryan Walsh should be this afternoon is on a train heading to Wrigley Field. She should be in class, enduring yet another miserable day of her first year of high school. But for once, Ryan isn't thinking about what she should be doing because she's finally returning to the place that her father loved, where the two of them spent so many afternoons cheering on their team. And, on the fifth anniversary of his death, it feels like there's nowhere else in the world she should be. Good luck is often hard to come by at a place like Wrigley Field, but it's on this day that she meets Nick who seems to love the Cubs nearly as much as she does. But Nick carries with him a secret that makes Ryan wonder if anyone can ever really escape their past, or believe in the promise of those reassuring words: "Wait till next year."