By: Tim Green
The story is told in third person. The setting is a suburban town where baseball is a highlight for Joey and Zach, who are in the 6th grade. They work together to make the all-star team and go through extreme efforts , including a criminal act against a teacher, so that Zach would miss a field trip to make it to the championship game. This is all in order to reach their goal of eventually playing together on the Center State select team. Joey’s mother is a police officer involved in the investigation of their crime which adds more suspense to the story. Joey aces a final science exam in order to get a wish the teacher promised to deliver at the beginning of the school year. His wish is to be excused from this crime. There is also a girl, that Joey likes, who becomes a distraction. Zach and Joey end up competing for one spot on the select team. The story shows how far they will go to make this team. In the end, the truth is told by Joey.
Theme and Personal Connection
The theme is how much the drive of competiveness will push two boys to commit any act necessary to accomplish their goals including the possibility of sacrificing their friendship. A confession of the truth ends up being the most important message and lesson learned. The book helped me realize that, if I work really hard, I can accomplish a goal; such as making an all-star baseball team or acing a test. At times, there will be things out of my control that might get in my way. Sometimes, I will have to accept these obstacles, as it is part of life, and I will always strive to do my personal best. I should not let competition push me to the point of doing or saying something I might regret later. I should respect others and friendships and most of all always be honest.