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“Koertge's pleasing variety of verse — a villanelle here, a sestina there — is a seamless fit for his story and characters.” — The Horn Book (starred review)
Ron Koertge, master of snappy dialogue and a deft poet, offers a fast-paced, sympathetic story that interweaves two narrative voices with humor and warmth. Fourteen-year old Kevin juggles his passions for poetry, baseball, and two very different girls in this funny, insightful sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup.
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Koertge’s pleasing variety of verse – a villanelle here, a sestina there – is a seamless fit for his story and characters.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
The well-crafted poetry is firmly rooted in the experiences of regular teens and addresses subjects that range from breakups to baseball. Koertge works in some unobtrusive poetry instruction, and poems like Amy’s funny Transylvanian limericks and Kevin’s poignant reflections on “moving on” will inspire teens to try writing their own. Appealing and accessible.
Whether readers are meeting Kevin for the first time or have already read the first book, they are likely to enjoy both the accessible story and Kevin’s struggles with some demanding poetic structures.
—School Library Journal
Koertge masterfully leads readers to accept that people—yes, even teenagers—can be individuals, and that baseball and poetry are not necessarily at opposite ends of the spectrum. Well done.
The strength of both books is the seamless way Koertge shows how Kevin processes guilt, excitement, and uncertainty: with his pen.
Definitely a book to read, at least once, if not more.
—YA Books Central blog
Cuts against the stereotypes of dumb jocks and Goth poets to create a smart, every-guy protagonist whose down-to-earth voice and contemporary concerns refresh centuries-old poetic. . . . With this book, Koertge steps up to the plate — two outs, bases loaded — and stylistically knocks it out of the park.
—The Washington post
Heartfelt, funny, and brilliant in every way. . . a must-read.
—Kendal Rautzan's Books to Borrow, Books to Buy (syndicated column)
Wow — if you are celebrating April as poetry month, you need this book. If you are teaching middle-schoolers about poetry, you need this book. If you like a clever read about a boy who needs to break up with a girl who isn’t right for him, then you will love this book.
If you’re looking for a way to get a sports-obsessed kid into poetry, this may be it.