Linda Sue Park has the ability to take subjects that I have no interest in (like baseball or centuries old pottery) and create an interesting and enjoyable story. When I picked up her book A Single Shard and read the blurb, I thought, "This could be really boring," but it was a Newbery book, so I read it and ended up loving the characters and found the parts about pottery pretty fascinating.
I felt the same way when reading the blurb on Keeping Score as I have no interest in baseball. Published in 2008, Maggie, named for Joe DiMaggio, loves baseball. She has no desire to play the game, but she is an avid fan. She learns how to score the games from one of the firefighters who work at her dad's old station. Their friendship develops, but Jim is drafted and sent to Korea. Maggie writes to him, but soon his letters stop and she is determined to find out why.
The story is set in New York with the trifecta of amazing baseball clubs in New York during that time period. I enjoyed seeing how Maggie learned about her relationship to God and religion, how she was willing to sacrifice for others (something that happens in a baseball game), and that she had two good parents.
I learned about baseball in a way that was interesting and would highly recommend this book to any of my students who love baseball or any other sport. I love that the main character was a girl who wanted to do something that boys normally did. In the 1950s, women's choices were limited, and I liked that Maggie was able to see possibilities of using her skill of keeping score in her future.
Linda Sue Park is on my short list of authors whose books I will buy just because their name is on the cover. She has written many books that I still need to add to my library. Two other books by Linda Sue Park that I have read and loved are A Long Walk to Water and When My Name was Keoko.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit.