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Screaming at the Ump
ISBN: 9780544439375
Author: Vernick, Audrey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: April 2015
Retail: $6.99    OUR PRICE: $1.99
     You Save 72%
Binding Type: Paperback
Qty:
Annotation: Casey lives with his father and grandfather at their family-run umpire school, and as he deals with middle school and his mother's unwelcome return, he stumbles on a story that has him questioning his dream of becoming a journalist.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Baseball; Fiction.
Baseball umpires; Fiction.
Single-parent families; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2015006495
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 0.75" H x 75.00" L x 5.25" W
Bargain Category: Sports, Middle School, High School, Growing Up
Grade level(s): 7th, 8th, 9th
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall)
Twelve-year-old Casey's dad runs a school for umpires, so "people always assumed I was going to be an umpire when I got older." But Casey dreams of a career writing about baseball instead. Sports fans will appreciate the original setting; Casey is a well-realized character, and his anger at his mother for his parents' divorce broadens the novel's scope.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 March #1)

Casey Snowden, 12, loves life at Behind the Plate, the third best (out of three) U.S. academy devoted to training baseball umpires. He lives there with his father, grandfather, and (often) best friend Zeke, whose absent parents have a busy dental practice. Also absent is Casey's mother, who hated living on the retooled grounds of a former reform school, and left with Bob the Baker, the bread delivery guy. As sixth grade starts, another session of umpiring school begins, and this one includes a student who goes by one name but bears an uncanny resemblance to a former major league pitcher who disappeared following a steroids scandal. Could they be one and same, and can Casey make a splash in the school newspaper if he uncovers the truth? Multiple threads come together in a well-crafted way when Casey realizes the same skills an umpire needs—being objective and fair, knowing the rules, and being in the right spot to make the call—also apply to becoming a good journalist and healing his broken relationship with his mother. Ages 10–14. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Casey Snowden, 12, loves life at Behind the Plate, the third best (out of three) U.S. academy devoted to training baseball umpires. He lives there with his father, grandfather, and (often) best friend Zeke, whose absent parents have a busy dental practice. Also absent is Casey's mother, who hated living on the retooled grounds of a former reform school, and left with Bob the Baker, the bread delivery guy. As sixth grade starts, another session of umpiring school begins, and this one includes a student who goes by one name but bears an uncanny resemblance to a former major league pitcher who disappeared following a steroids scandal. Could they be one and same, and can Casey make a splash in the school newspaper if he uncovers the truth? Multiple threads come together in a well-crafted way when Casey realizes the same skills an umpire needs—being objective and fair, knowing the rules, and being in the right spot to make the call—also apply to becoming a good journalist and healing his broken relationship with his mother. Ages 10–14. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 May)

Gr 5–8—Most kids who are baseball-obsessed do not focus their obsession on umpiring. But since Casey's father and grandfather run the third best umpire school in the country, Casey's passion is understandable. He also wants to become a sports journalist. When one of his father's students is revealed as a former major league baseball player who disappeared after a steroid scandal, Casey thinks he has stumbled onto the scoop of the year. But after learning about journalistic objectivity, dealing with his parent's divorce, and helping keep his wacky best friend out of trouble, nothing is going Casey's way. Vernick has written a truly realistic 12-year-old boy in Casey. He is all kid; smart but impetuous, with a good heart. His yearning to be a reporter and get published without doing much work rings true, as does his eventual realization that big dreams do not happen without effort. The umpire school is an intriguing angle to use as a hook to the story. There is enough baseball to keep fans interested, and yet not so much that it might turn off non-sports lovers. The book includes discussions of major league drug use, the aftereffects of divorce, and a bit of parental neglect, but everything is balanced; it all feeds the story, nothing seems thrown in for sensationalism. A solid choice for middle-grade readers.—Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT

[Page 118]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.