by Frank Nappi
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: Apr 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
It 's 1949 and eighteen-year-old pitching phenom Mickey Tussler is back with the rejuvenated minor league Brewers in the sequel to The Legend of Mickey Tussler (the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes). Despite Mickey 's proclamation that he will never play baseball again after last season 's violent conclusion, his manager and now surrogate father Arthur Murphy cajoles the emotionally fragile, socially awkward boy with autism into giving it another shot. Mickey reluctantly returns to the field and must once again cope with the violence and hatred around him. When a young African American player joins the team, the entire team is subjected to racial threats and episodes of violence, one of which Mickey witnesses firsthand. Struggling to understand such ugliness and hatred, and fearful of reprisal should he tell anyone about what he has seen, the boy 's performance on the field suffers. Mickey now must deal with a side of human nature he scarcely comprehends.
Like the first book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, Sophomore Campaign is another great baseball story with fantastic characters. In the second book we get to revisit most of the characters from the first book, like Murph, PeeWee, and Mickey's mother. We also get to meet Lester, the new catcher for the team. Lester is an African American player, and in 1949, that means the team is up against more hate, and lack of acceptance, just like they were when Mickey joined the team and people didn't understand his autism.
The racism isn't sugar coated in this book, it's very scary and violent at times. Mickey never understands why people think differently of Lester just because his skin is a different color. Murph wants to win ball games by having Lester on the team but Lester has to deal with all of the hate and he isn't always sure it's worth it.
As with the first book, there is a lot for a baseball fan to love about this book. Many chapters are devoted fully to single games. At the same time, the book isn't completely about the sport, and the characters and plot lines are fully developed and will interest other readers besides just sports fans. The writing is so well done, readers will be caught up in Mickey's world both on and off the baseball field.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: A great addition to Mickey Tussler's story. I like the direction the book is going at the end and I hope there will be a third book!
If you think this book sounds interesting, please see my reviews of the first book in the series: "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and the movie, "A Mile in His Shoes" which is based on the first book:
Please note that while the movie is for all audiences, the books were written for adults :)
If you buy a copy of "The Legend or Mickey Tussler" or "Sophomore Campaign" before July 27, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Best Buddies International!
Frank Nappi, the author of "The Legend of Mickey Tussler" and "Sophomore Campaign," is donating part of the proceeds from the books to Best Buddies International.
In a blog, Nappi said, "In an effort to support greater autism advocacy and awareness, I am pleased to announce that with the sale of each paperback copy of The Legend of Mickey Tussler or Sophomore Campaign between Friday, July 6 and Friday, July 27 on Amazon.com, I will donate a portion of the proceeds to Best Buddies International - a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."
The Mickey Tussler series chronicles the coming of age of a young pitching phenom with autism on a minor league baseball team during the 1940s.
You can read more about Nappi's efforts by going to: http://bestbuddiesblog.
wordpress.com/2012/07/01/best- buddies-truly-rewarding-on-so- many-levels/.