________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 12. . . .November 21, 2014


Power Hitter. (Sports Stories).

Christine A. Forsyth.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2014.
124 pp., pbk. & epub, $9.95 (pbk.), $7.95 (epub).
ISBN 978-1-4594-0590-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4594-0592-9 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Laura Dick.

**1/2 /4



We gathered up the gear and left for home. Andrew and Griffin walked ahead, talking the whole way. I noticed that Andrew frequently put his arm around Griffin's shoulders. Meanwhile, Claire kept talking about my hitting, which continued to embarrass me. I'm not sure why. I should have been pleased, but I got the feeling that my success was Griffin's expense. That didn't feel good at all.


This newest edition to the Lorimer “Sports Stories” series features the American, or, in this case, Canadian, game of baseball. Connor is spending the summer with distant cousins in Winnipeg while his mom has surgery and recovers at home in Burlington. Connor has never met his cousins all he knows is that there is a mom and a dad and two kids, one of whom is a boy who is almost the same age as he is, 13. When Connor arrives in Winnipeg, he discovers that everyone in this family is a baseball fanatic. They play baseball for fun, they play on baseball teams, they watch baseball games, and they talk about baseball, a lot. Connor has never played baseball except for once on a T ball team when he was six. He begins to wonder if the plan to spend the summer in Winnipeg was a big mistake. Then he picks up a bat and discovers that he is a power hitter he can't really throw, and he doesn't know where to run when he hits the ball but, boy oh boy, can he hit.

     Christine A. Forsyth has written a novel perfect for 10-year-old baseball fans. The desire and pressure to make the team, not to let one's teammates down, and to perform well under pressure are all conveyed clearly to the reader. Connor may be a great hitter, but he's not much good at anything else to do with baseball, and Forsyth allows Connor to feel the sting of not being picked for the team, with all of the resulting disappointments. The descriptions of the baseball games and practice sessions are detailed and fully realized. A missed opportunity involves the subplot, Connor's mom's fight with what turns out to be cancer. Although Connor does finally discover why his mom is in the hospital and also why his dad now lives in Florida, the author doesn't address the feelings and emotions that these disturbing discoveries must generate in a 13-year-old boy. The treatment of Connor's internal life is not the strength of this fun, sports minded novel the strength definitely lies in the baseball scenes. For baseball fans, Power Hitter is a sure bet.


Laura Dick is trying to raise four teenagers while attempting to maintain her sanity. She escapes to work as a branch manager at a mid sized public library in Southwestern Ontario.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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