Author: Linda Sue Park
Title: Keeping Score
Publication Info: New York : Clarion Books, c2008.
Summary/Review: This brilliant children’s novel is set in Brooklyn in the 1950s, the golden age of New York City baseball. Young Maggie, a devoted Dodgers fans, listens to games with the firefighters at the local station, until one day a new guy is listening to a Giants game on the radio. Despite their conflicting allegiance, Maggie and Jim become friends and he teaches her how to score a baseball game. Then he is drafted into the ambulance service in the Korean War. They keep in touch but then Jim suffers a trauma that prevents him from being able to communicate with anyone.
The novel depicts Maggie’s efforts and sacrifices to connect with her friend through baseball and doesn’t shy away from the horrors of war, or the futility of this particular war. Along the way, Maggie also invents sabermetrics (okay, I’m kidding, but it’s not too far of a stretch). This is a loving book about friendship and healing.
Recommended books: Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger and Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodw