Little Viddy's earliest baseball memory was sitting on a hard plank bench in the heart of a visiting team'sdugout, wedged between her two aging gods, Wash and Cappy. And hearing an ump holler: "Play ball!"
In a devastating explosion, young Tate Stonemason loses his family--and his dream--when their private plane crashes and burns. Only he survives. With a leg destroyed, Tate has no chance to pitch in the majors. No one can ease his anger and grief--except the lady who taught him the game...Great-aunt Vidalia.
Desperate for a way to heal Tate's hurting, Aunt Viddy, now seventy, shares her childhood with him: her purple-bus travels with Ethiopia's Clowns, a Depression-era baseball team of rollicking rascals. The laughter and common love of baseball he shares with Aunt Viddy slowly inspires Tate Bannock Stonemason to mature, conquer tragedy, and realize the true power of family.
Robert Newton Peck presents a humorous and heartwarming story of how yesterday's baseball diamonds help to mend the crushed leg and battered spirit of a young athlete.
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Robert Newton Peck is the author of more than sixty books, including Horse Thief, Cowboy ghost, and A Day No Pigs Would Die. According to Newsweek, Mr. Peck "manages to evoke a sense of vanished America -- when neighbors were neighborly, when food was home-cooked, and clothes and philosophy homespun." Raised on a farm, he is familiar with cattle, hogs, and horses. He lives with his wife, Sam, in Longwood, Florida, where he and a partner currently own eleven mustangs.From School Library Journal:
Gr 6-8-Sixteen-year-old Tate Stonemason survives the crash of a small plane that killed his parents and sister. Injuries from the crash also destroy his dream of playing baseball in the major leagues one day. Bitter and lonely, Tate is comforted by his Great-Granddad Abbott Bristol Stonemason and the man's adopted African-American daughter, Vidalia. She tells Tate of her early childhood spent with Ethiopia's Clowns, a Depression-era, all-black baseball team that barnstormed its way through the South, before she was adopted by the white Stonemason family. The long story within a story of her childhood is her legacy to the teen. After her death, he finds a reason to go on with his life, as he begins to write Vidalia's oral history. The account of the barnstorming team, getting by on a shoestring and finding kindness and hatred in the deep South, is the best part of this book. Many readers, however, will find it difficult to plow through the elaborate dialogue that can best be described as baroque. Unfortunately, Tate and his relatives seem rather remote and artificial creations. At the novel's end, readers may find it difficult to care much about the boy because they haven't gotten to know him very well.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
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Book Description HarperTeen, 2001. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006028868X