Saturday, June 7, 2008

Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park

More than anything in the world, Maggie Fortini wants the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the World Series. She’s tired of saying “Wait till next year!” – the unofficial slogan of Dodger fans. Maggie doesn’t play baseball herself but she listens to every game possible, often gathering around the radio with the guys at the firehouse where her father worked before a career-changing injury. One day, a new firefighter is at the house and, horror-of-horrors, he’s a Giant’s fan! Despite her shock, Maggie and Jim quickly become friends as he introduces Maggie to a wonderful new dimension of baseball – keeping score. She quickly learns to love the complicated system of tracking game statistics on a sheet of paper, developing some of her own touches along the way. When Jim is called up to serve in the army in Korea, Maggie devotedly keeps in touch. However, Jim’s letters suddenly stop and Maggie is left feeling hurt and worried. Part baseball story, part growing-up tale, this is, ultimately a story of hope and the power of one person trying to make a difference in the life of another.

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