Children's Books

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AUGUST 28, 2009
Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

In the early 1950's Maggie, along with most of the rest of Brooklyn, is a diehard Dodgers fan.  She likes to hang out and listen to radio broadcasts of the games with the firefighters at the nearby station where her dad formerly worked.  When a new fireman joins the crew, Maggie is at first put off because he is a Giants fan, but after he teaches her how to keep score, they become fast friends.  To her chagrin, he volunteers to join the U.S. Army when it is sent to defend South Korea after it is attacked by North Korea.  Following an initial exchange of letters, Maggie is understandably saddened when their contact comes to an abrupt halt.  She continues to follow the fortunes of the Dodgers who are always contenders for a World Series slot, but never quite champions.  Eventually her friend Jim does return home.  Unfortunately, he is mentally traumatized.  Maggie desperately tries to respark his interest in baseball, thinking that perhaps his former love of the game will be rekindled and that this will bring about the healing he needs. This is an effective piece of historical fiction as well as an exciting treatment of the pennant races of the early '50's - a well-written offering that will interest those in grades 4 - 6.

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