Candlewick Press

May 2012

$14.95 AU

170p pb

ISBN: 978-0763658526

fp May 2010

sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Shakespeare Makes The Playoffs

Ron Koertge

from Candlewick Press...

Fourteen-year-old Kevin Boland has a passion for playing baseball, a knack for writing poetry -- and a cute girlfriend named Mira who’s not much interested in either. But then, Kevin doesn’t exactly share Mira’s newfound fervour for all things green. So when Kevin signs up for open mike night at Bungalow Books and meets Amy, a girl who knows a sonnet from a sestina and can match his emails verse for verse, things start to get sticky. Should he stay with Mira? Or risk spoiling his friendship with Amy by asking her out?

Ron Koertge, master of snappy dialogue and a deft poet, offers a fast-paced, sympathetic story that interweaves two narrative voices with humour and warmth. Fielding his social life is a bigger challenge for Kevin than hitting a fastball in Ron Koertge’s funny, insightful sequel to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

In this welcome follow up to Shakespeare Bats Cleanup Kevin (aka Shakespeare) receives a new journal from his dad and reignites his passion for poetry writing. Kevin is still playing baseball and his team is looking like making the finals. On the home front his dad is clearing out his deceased wife’s belongings and has met Anna about whom Kevin has mixed feelings. Then there is Mira, Kevin’s girlfriend, whose passions are recycling and environmental cleanups while Kevin’s are baseball and writing – the two are slowly drifting apart. When Kevin meets Amy at an open-mike poetry reading session the two click and become ‘poetry friends’ corresponding by emails. The two even have some of their poetry published. Kevin feels conflicted between his feelings for Mira and Amy. When Amy breaks up with her boyfriend, the perfect Trevor, things get even more complicated…

Addressing teen issues and concerns in an entertaining way Ron Koertge has created an easy to read and engaging book. The strength of the story also lies in the emotional connection created with Kevin through the use of the verse format. You not only get a great novel in verse in Shakespeare Makes The Playoffs but you also learn a bit about poetry forms. A rewarding read for upper primary and lower secondary readers.

Pete, Canberra, Australia

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