The Perfect Game - kindle ebook by Christopher J

“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”

 – Jacques Barzun

A book for middle grade readers ages 9-12, as well as anyone who has experienced organized sports a kid or as a parent. The Perfect Game captures not only the excitement of playing baseball but the feelings of childhood anxiety as well.  The characters are smart kids who feel deeply and make the reader feel, too.  the story has surprises, twistsm and turns that add to the up and down journey.

Joey Coltasanti, nicknamed “the professor” by his father, is ambivalent about playing his last year in summer league. A shortstop, he loves baseball and longs to realize his dream of making the town’s all-star team, and then winning enough games to advance to the state’s world series. However to reach this goal he must overcome his own anxiety that blocks his talent from shining through on the field.

Internal concerns are not the only obstacles in Joey’s path. He also has to deal with Mr. K, the coach of his team for the past two years. Mr. K uses sarcasm and intimidation with his players, as well as favoring his own son over Joey and his teammates. Added to the mix is Joey’s new neighbor and friend, twelve year old Mindi. A saxophone-playing member of Mensa, she is also a pitcher in the summer league who mows down opposing hitters with a blazing fastball and pinpoint control.

Joey decides to play, with events during early season contests testing his will to continue. Eventually a tumultuous game involving adults who can’t seem to grow up leads to changes in the league. A benevolent new coach arrives in town, and things begin to turn around for Joey and his underdog teammates. Eventually joining forces with Mindi on the all-star team, Joey moves closer to fulfilling his dream. Advancing to the state’s world series means finding innovative ways to win pressure packed games, which leads to Joey confronting his fears on the field. Ultimately he learns more about winning, losing, and the exciting game that is baseball.