The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach (2011)

Genre: Adult Fiction
Interest level: Adult
The Art of FieldingAnother terrific first novel! As the title may suggest, this is a baseball novel. But don’t let that put you off, if you, like me, are not particularly into the sport. (I am very proud of one–the only–amazing catch I made when I was, mystifyingly, in retrospect, playing third base.) The baseball lessons are delivered easily, mixed in with the narrative in such a way that you naturally understand more and more as you progress through the novel. Henry Skrimshander (the Skrimmer) is a shortstop extraordinaire, and is poised for greatness in his sophomore year at Westish College in the midwest. (Wisconsin, if that’s the midwest. I think it is). But his major league future is suddenly in doubt when he begins to falter on the field. Along with a lovelorn college president, an erudite gay roommate, and teammates with creaky knees and a love of scotch, we accompany the Skrimmer on his painful, halting journey, with delightful turns of phrase and images. This one is bound to win some debut novelist award. As Henry is 17 when the book opens, it’s a natural YA/adult crossover, but only for older teens.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10996342-the-art-of-fielding

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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