Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

May 06, 2008

Keeping Score

By Linda Sue Park
Era: 1950's Brooklyn/Korean War
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Maggie loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and listens to every game on the radio, sometimes down at the firehouse with her dad's old firefighter friends. When new fireman Jim starts at the firehouse, there's some tension because Jim is a dreaded Giants fan. But when Maggie notices him using a notebook when he listens to games, she gets curious. Jim is keeping score of the game--the pitch count, hits, outs, every play of the game--and when he shows Maggie how to do it, she's hooked. Then Jim gets sent overseas to Korea to fight in the conflict and Maggie becomes a faithful pen pal, sending over baseball reports about the Giants and the Dodgers and continuing her scorekeeping. Then tragedy strikes, and Jim comes home, refusing to even speak of what happened while he was in Korea, or to speak at all. Maggie feels torn until she comes up with a great idea to make Jim happy and start talking again--go see a baseball game between the Giants and Dodgers at Ebbets Field! But will her plan work? This is a great story about baseball, learning what really matters, making sacrifices, and how to make a difference in someone's life. An enjoyable, compelling read.