Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Center Field by Robert Lipsyte YP FIC LIPSYTE

Mike Semak knows his Junior year is going to be his time to shine. He’s dating Lori, one of the prettiest girls in school (the other being her twin Tori), he’s the top choice for center field, and is respected by the whole school. Everything changes when a new kid from the Dominican Republic joins the team and takes Mike’s shot at center field. Mike’s frustrations lead him to lash out at an unpopular student. This gets him community service working with the Cyber Club where he learns his coach isn’t the man he thought he was. Now his coach wants him to be a spy against the club and Mike isn’t sure if he can, especially since he has developed feelings for a strange and troubled girl in the club. As his life on and off the field becomes more and more complicated Mike has to decide what kind of team player he wants to be.

This book is (forgive me but I truly cannot help myself) a home run (again, sorry)! The baseball scenes are exciting and so is the off field action. I picked this up because its baseball time and I was looking for a good baseball book, but this is just a great read all around. The central conflict between Mike and his coach gets very tense and had me racing through the last chapters. Mike’s character changes a lot through the book, but he’s not a boring boy scout. He’s a great example of the dangers of wanting to win for winnings sake. But it’s really the adults that have caused all the problems that Mike and his friends are grappling with. This is really a story about the abuse of authority and what harm it can cause even on a small scale, so it really fits well with the world we live in. A great read for baseball fans or people that like good drama.

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