Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

ISBN-10: 0763629391

ISBN-13: 9780763629397

Edition: Reprint 

Authors: Ronald Koertge

List price: $6.99 Buy it from $3.00
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"This funny and poignant novel celebrates the power of writing to help young people make sense of their lives and unlock and confront their problems." - SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review) When MVP Kevin Boland gets the news that he has mono and won't be seeing a baseball field for a while, he suddenly finds himself scrawling a poem down the middle of a page in his journal. To get some help, he cops a poetry book from his dad's den - and before Kevin knows it, he's writing in verse about stuff like, Will his jock friends give up on him? What's the deal with girlfriends? Surprisingly enough, after his health improves, he keeps on writing, about the smart-talking Latina girl who thinks poets are cool, and even about his mother, whose death is a still-tender loss. Written in free verse with examples of several poetic forms slipped into the mix, including a sonnet, haiku, pastoral, and even a pantoum, this funny, poignant story by a master of dialogue is an English teacher's dream - sure to hook poetry lovers, baseball fanatics, mono recoverers, and everyone in between.
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Book details

List price: $6.99
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 2/14/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 7.75" wide x 5.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.286
Language: English

EDITH PATTOU is the author of East, and the two novels in the Songs of Eirren sequence: Hero's Song and Fire Arrow, a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Novel of the Year, as well as Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, a picture book illustrated by Tricia Tusa. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.RON KOERTGE has written many highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Stoner Spaz, Margaux with an X, The Brimstone Journals, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and Where the Kissing Never Stops. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

Their pitcher walks our leadoff man. Greg moves him up to second with a perfect sacrifice. Fabian loops one into right.
I'm up. Two on, one out. I'm the cleanup man. My job is to bring these guys home.
I take a pitch. Foul one off. Take a strike. Their left fielder drifts in.
Bam! I lift one right over his head. A double! Two runs score. I slide into second. Safe!
That's what I'm thinking, anyway, propped up in bed with some dumb book.
Than Dad comes in and says, "The doctor called. Your tests came back. You've got mono."
"So I can't play ball."
He pats my knee. "You can't even go to school, Kevin. You need to take it real easy."
He hands me a journal, one of those marbly black-and-white ones he likes.
"You're gonna have a lot of time on your hands. Maybe you'll feel like writing something down."
In Bed
Being sick is like taking a trip, isn't it? Going to another country, sort of. A country nobody wants to visit. A country named Fevertown. Or Virusburg. Or Germ Corners.
The border guards are glum-looking, with runny noses and pasty skin. Their uniforms don't fit and flap open in the back so you can see their big, ugly butts.
Nobody wants to go there, but everybody does, sooner or later.
And some stay.
Dad's never talked to me about writing before. He's not nuts to have me be just like him.
Len Boggs has a dad like that. It's been Boggs & Son ever since Lennie was about two seconds old.
They're plumbers. "Got clogs? Call Boggs!" Don't laugh. Their vans are all over the place. They're rich.
And Len hates it.
Lennie's fourteen, like me. He doesn't know what he wants to do when he grows up. Maybe go in the Marines. Maybe play the cello.
But he for sure doesn't want to be a plumber.
His dad is already on his case, riding him about it.
I think mine's just trying to be nice.
Home Alone
Well, not exactly. Dad's here, that's why we don't have to get somebody to come in and take care of me.
First of all, I don't need much care. I sleep all the time, or at least it feels that way.
Dad works at home. He and I pass each other in the hall- I in my sweats, he in his cap.
When I was little and I got sick, Mom used to read to me.
Thinking about that's not going to help.
Inquiring Minds Want To Know
Why am I writing down the middle of the page?
It kind of looks like poetry, but no way is it poetry. It's just stuff.
So I tiptoe into the den and cop this book of Dad's.
It feels weird smuggling something about poetry up to my room like it's the new PENTHOUSE.
But I don't want Dad to know what I'm doing yet. Even though I'm not doing anything. Not really.
I'm just going to fool around a little, see what's what poetry-wise.
How Do You Do, Haiku
I thought I'd start small. I kind of remember haiku from school last year. I at least remember they're little.
But, man-I never saw so many frogs in the moonlight. And leaves. Leaves all over the place.
Weren't there any gardeners in ancient Japan? Weren't there any cats and dogs?
Still, haiku look easy. Sort of. Five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, five in the third.
Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs. Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs. Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, leaves.
Very funny, Kevin.
At least I finished it. I can't finish anything else, except my nap. Seventeen syllables is just about right for somebody with my reduced stamina. Perfect thing for an invalid.
Oh, man-look at that: IN VALID. I never saw that before.
Just a single space in a word I thought I knew made the difference.
SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP by Ron Koertge. Copyright (c) 2006 by Ron Koertge. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
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