Never Blame the Umpire

Fehler, Gene

Book

Barcode: 9780310719410

Release date: 27/02/2010

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Kate is having the best summer a sports-loving eleven-year-old could possibly have. Baseball. Tennis. And to top it off, Kate has just started a three-week class where she's discovering a new love: poetry. Then comes the news that tears Kate's world apart. In her close-knit family, Kate has always felt God's love and protection. But how can she trust God now? Do sports or poetry matter when tragedy strikes? In Kate's darkest hour, her mother's faith shines its brightest, helping Kate to see that life is still beautiful and God is still good. Always, no matter what.

From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Faith is a tricky thing; its demands are as great as its benefits and it is meaningless without adversity to test it. And so it is with Kate, whose happy, small-town life is upended with the news of her mother's terminal cancer. First-person-present narration takes the sensitive 11-year-old through the grieving process over the course of a summer, as baseball, a poetry workshop, and her mother's own strong faith in God teach and strengthen her. Fehler uses the workshop as a plot device to show Kate's interior growth, teaching readers something about the creative process as well. Kate is supported through her journey by a cast of wholesome characters who exemplify the Christian model and ring true despite their one-dimensionality. Her friend Ginny is an empathetic and talented actress; poet Allison is deep and spiritual; brother Cal's pest facade crumbles early on. The adults serve as examples to the children; Coach emphasizes team spirit, the poetry teacher is patient and perceptive, the dying mother inspires, while Dad holds the family together in tragedy. Fehler's world, populated by folks who care about one another and make good decisions, may seem archaic to readers who are used to young characters who act like cynical adults and adults who behave like children, but many people hold these standards as their own and will be moved and encouraged by this simple depiction of a faithful family in crisis.-Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NCα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review
"...a tender, engaging story." (Publisher's Weekly)

"...Fehler has created a masterpiece of literature to which everyone can relate...This book would make a great addition to anyone's personal library." (christianbookpreviews)

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