Thursday, January 2, 2020

Review of "The Secret Little Leaguer," by Don Creighton

Review of

The Secret Little Leaguer, by Don Creighton 

Four out of five stars

 Charley Baker is eleven years old and is an oddball in his family. His parents are both professionals and his siblings are extremely scholarly. Charley struggles in school and he loves to run, throw things and climb trees. Conversations among the family deal with intellectual issues and a regular comment is that sports are not for people like them.

 When Charley’s friend Butch tries to talk him into trying out for the little league teams, he resists at first, for he has never even put on a glove or held a bat. Eventually, Charley decides to attend the tryouts and his speed afoot, the power of his throwing arm and his willingness to be coached convinces a manager to put him on a team. However, Charlie hides that fact from all the members of his family, although there are occasional questions as to what he is doing.

 Now that he must attend practices and games, indifferent student Charley becomes a focused doer of homework. He also begins reading adolescent sports fiction, a change from his unwillingness to open books that he does not have to. The season progresses and Charley improves dramatically, moving from a bench fixture into someone that has a positive impact on the team’s success.

 It all works out in the end; Charlie discovers that his secret was not that secret. The moral of this story is that the love for a sport can be the incentive for a child to work hard in all aspects of life. It is a good one, for it is easy for people in sports to lose track of things like being successful in school. Some parents also believe that sports are a distraction from academics.

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