Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge

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Synopsis

A straight-talking, fourteen-year-old first baseman, benched by mono, decides to take a swing at writing poetry in Ron Koertge’s clever, compelling new novel written in free verse.

Their pitcher walks our leadoff man.
Greg moves him up to second with a perfect
sacrifice. Fabian loops one into right.

I’m up. Two on, one out. I’m the cleanup
man. My job is to bring these guys home.

MVP Kevin Boland gets the news that he has mono and won’t be seeing a baseball field for a while, and he suddenly finds himself scrawling a poem down the middle of a page in his journal. To get some help, he cops a poetry book from his dad’s den. Before Kevin knows it, he’s writing in verse about stuff like, Will his jock friends give up on him? What’s the deal with girlfriends? Surprisingly enough, after his health improves, he keeps on writing - about the smart-talking Latina girl who thinks poets are cool, even about his mother, whose death is a still-tender loss for which he finally finds the words.

Written in free verse with examples of several poetic forms slipped into the mix, including a sonnet, haiku, pastoral, and even a pantoum, this funny, poignant story by a master of dialogue is an English teacher’s dream - sure to hook poetry lovers, baseball fanatics, mono recoverers, and everyone in between.
 

About Ron Koertge

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Ron Koertge, the author of several acclaimed novels for young adults - including STONER & SPAZ and THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS - has been a faculty member for more than thirty-five years at Pasadena City College, where he has taught everything from Shakespeare to remedial writing. He also writes poetry for adults. Of SHAKESPEARE BATS CLEANUP, he says, "I find it funny that kids will willingly follow the rules in any game, but if you give them rules for writing poetry, they rebel!"From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published March 1, 2003 by Candlewick. 116 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Young Adult, Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Kirkus Reviews

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He and Amy also text each other in poetry, expressing their feelings and longings with honesty and humor while experimenting with sestina, haiku, sonnets, limericks and more.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Confined to the house, and mostly to bed, Kevin starts sneaking peeks into a prosody manual of his father’s, and trying his hand at different poetic forms, from haiku (“Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs / Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, / Frogs, frogs, frogs, frogs, leaves”), son...

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Publishers Weekly

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Dedicated to “the readers of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup who wanted to know what happened next,” this follow-up finds Kevin Boland recovered from the mono that sidelined him in the previous book, ready to resume play at first base and continue his relationship with pretty, earnest Mira, now his gir...

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Publishers Weekly

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After Kevin's writer father gives him a journal, the bored boy sneaks a book about poetry out of his father's den and decides, "I'm just going to fool around a little,/ see what's what poetry-wise."

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Common Sense Media

Nearly a year later, Kevin and his dad are still grieving the loss of Kevin's mother, and the gift of a new notebook inspires him to resume writing.

Mar 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

Common Sense Media

The power of words and writing to help us deal with life is shown (not to mention that writing poetry gets Kevin a terrific girlfriend!).

Aug 16 2004 | Read Full Review of Shakespeare Bats Cleanup

A Patchwork of Books

Taking her hand, I fleetingly press her slim fingers,.

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Reader Rating for Shakespeare Bats Cleanup
77%

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