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Shakespeare Bats Cleanup
by Ron Koertge
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 and up
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2006
NO. PAGES: 128
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction, Sports Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Male
SEQUEL: Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs
ISBN: 0763629391
READ & REVIEWED BY: Tiffany - StorySnoop


The Story
Shakespeare Bats Cleanup—Book Review

Kevin has mono and is under house arrest, recuperating. Boredom leads him to pick up his father's book of poetry and he finds that he really enjoys it. Kevin starts writing in order to pass the time and his poetry is a cathartic and creative outlet. He writes about girls, sports and about his mother who has recently died. Little did he know that mono would lead him to a surprising means of self expression and how much he would learn about himself along the way.
The Scoop
Shakespeare Bats Cleanup—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

This charming and short novel is engrossing and reads quickly. Written completely in free verse, poetry is central to the storyline, as are its mechanics and various types. Grief is part of the story, as the main character's mother has recently passed away. A discussion of "the bases" is rather vague, but has sexual implications ("And girls are for sure not supposed to give up a homer easy. Second base is sort of okay, but not third."). Kissing takes place, and middle school dating and girl/boy interactions are amusing. Kevin is a refreshing character who steps outside of his comfort zone as a fourteen-year-old jock and starts writing poetry. A nice message is conveyed about boys who can appreciate the written word and write creatively as well as play sports and get the girl.
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