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Baseball legend Satchel Paige changes a boy’s life in this coming-of-age tale from the author of Lucky.

When Nick is released from the hospital after suffering from polio, he is sure that his father will never look at him in the same way again. Once the best pitcher in youth league, Nick now walks with a limp and is dependent on a heavy leg brace. He isn’t sure he will ever return to the mound, never mind be the star he once was.

When Nick starts working for Mr. Churchill, the owner of the semiprofessional team Nick’s dad plays for, he meets Satchel Paige, arguably the best pitcher in the world. Not allowed in the major leagues because of his skin color, Satchel teaches Nick that some things can be overcome with hard work and dedication, and that just because you’re down, you are most certainly not out.

As Satchel and his unique teammates barnstorm toward a national baseball tournament, Nick wonders if he can really overcome what seems like the impossible and pitch again.

Photograph © Virgina Benitez

C. W. Tooke has worked as a feature writer and editorial consultant and has published features in Salon, New Jersey Monthly, and the Princeton Alumni Weekly. His first novel, Lucky was a Junior Library Guild Selection. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and dog.

  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Children's Sequoyah Book Award Master List (OK)
  • Volunteer State Book Award Nominee (TN)
  • California Collections
  • Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List (FL)
  • CBC Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Children's Literature Council of Souther CA Award

More books from this author: Wes Tooke