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Never Blame the Umpire
by Gene Fehler

Overview -

Kate is having the best summer a sports-loving eleven-year-old could possibly have. Baseball. Tennis. And to top it off, Kate has just started a three-week class where she s discovering a new love: poetry. Then comes the news that tears Kate s world apart.  Read more...


 
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More About Never Blame the Umpire by Gene Fehler
 
 
 
Overview

Kate is having the best summer a sports-loving eleven-year-old could possibly have. Baseball. Tennis. And to top it off, Kate has just started a three-week class where she s discovering a new love: poetry. Then comes the news that tears Kate s world apart. In her close-knit family, Kate has always felt God s love and protection. But how can she trust God now? Do sports or poetry matter when tragedy strikes? In Kate s darkest hour, her mother s faith shines its brightest, helping Kate to see that life is still beautiful and God is still good. Always, no matter what."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780310719410
  • ISBN-10: 0310719410
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Christian Pub
  • Publish Date: February 2010
  • Page Count: 184
  • Reading Level: Ages 9-UP


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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 67.
  • Review Date: 2010-02-22
  • Reviewer: Staff

A summer baseball league and creative writing class, combined with a church community and family traditions like Friday night movies and popcorn, provide middle-school narrator Kate with supportive mentors, friends, and rituals while she faces devastating loss. Present-tense narration offers a sense of immediacy as Kate learns of her mother's cancer and, later, prepares for her death. Kate's poems, inspired by a variety of “starter activities,” give voice to her rage, confusion, and doubt. They also chronicle her changing perspective on what's important: while an early poem documents her disappointment that her parents missed her game-winning hit, a later one asks: “Why? It isn't fair. Isn't there/ a way to stop death?” In describing her faith in God's love and the peace she's attained as she faces death, Kate's mother equates acceptance of God's plan with a baseball player's acceptance of an umpire's call. While this analogy may feel simplistic and spark readers to ask more questions about why bad things happen to good people, the overarching message that love is stronger than death prevails in Fehler's (Beanball) tender, engaging story. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)

 
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