"The Legend of Mickey Tussler" Review

"The Legend of Mickey Tussler"
by Frank Nappi

Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: Apr 1, 2012 (original release: 2008)
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
In the late 1940s, the minor league Milwaukee Brewers are foundering yet again and manager Arthur Murphy is desperate. When he sees seventeen-year old Mickey Tussler throwing apples into a barrel, he knows he has found the next pitching phenom. But not everyone is so hopeful. Mickey 's autism a disorder still not truly understood even today has alienated the boy from the world, and he is berated by other players and fans. Mickey faces immense trials in the harsh and competitive world of baseball while coping with the challenges inherent to his disorder. An honest and knowledgeable book about overcoming adversity, and the basis for the television movie A Mile in His Shoes, Mickey 's powerful story shows that with support and determination anyone can be triumphant, even when the odds are stacked against him.

My Review:

I really enjoyed the movie that was made based on this book, "A Mile in His Shoes", so I was eager to read the original book. I was not disappointed in the book, and I found that the movie was very similar and at the same time reworked for a different audience.

Mickey has a form of autism, although it's never really spelled out as such in the book. It's really interesting to see things through his eyes. Somewhat surprisingly, the book doesn't focus entirely on Mickey though. A lot of the story is devoted to Murph, and the rest of team, as well as Mickey's mother. Sometimes, all of the different characters got slightly confusing, because the reader would be listening in on one character's thoughts and it would swiftly jump to another character's thoughts within the same paragraph. But once I got things straight, it was really interesting to know about so many varied characters.

This story is a great mix of a classic baseball story and deep, heartfelt characters. There are chapters devoted to play by plays of the Brewers' games for the baseball fans, but we also get to know about each of the character's personal life too.

As in the movie, Mickey and PeeWee were my favorite characters, along with Oscar the pig of course! Sometimes I thought maybe a little too much time was spent with the point of view of the villains, but that's something that never really works for me, it's just a personal preference.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line:  I was really impressed by this novel, it will really appeal to fans of baseball stories, but it will also appeal to those interested in a great story with diverse characters and a lot of heart.

If you think this book sounds interesting, please see my review of the movie, "A Mile in His Shoes" which is based on this book:

Please note that while the movie is for all audiences, the book was 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.


  1. Thanks! I think hubby would like this -- think I'll need to look for an audiobook though...

  2. I haven't read the book or watched the movie, but now I want to. I'm a sucker for heart-warming sports films. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I haven't read much about autism, but it is a subject that I think would be good to read about, especially trying to get into the head of someone who has it.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. Both the movie and book sounds pretty good!
    really heart-warming :D

  5. Hm.. have I seen the movie? I think not

  6. Baseball isn't a big thing here so I always hesitate to read/watch anything that has to do with it but I do really like the sound of this book, thanks to your review. It's great that the POVs soon became less confusing, I too enjoy multiple POVs when they're written well!


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!