Grade 4 -6
Brothers Avi and Reuven share a love of baseball, and they both hope to make the local All-Star team.
Eighth - grader Avi approaches the game and life with a laid-back attitude, while worrywart Reuven, a ninth grader, injures himself trying to get ahead by learning to throw a curveball.
He reluctantly learns to find satisfaction in his brother's success. Fans of the game will be intrigued by this jargon-laden story, but it won't attract other readers.
Non-baseball elements of the tale all have a secondary feel, and characters are not well-rounded. There is some detail about the siblings' Orthodox Jewish school and family life, but faith has little impact on the characters' choices or actions.
Reuven is so painfully self-conscious and surly that he strains readers' sympathy, and he grows very little through the course of the novel