The Bat Boy and His Violin by Gavin Curtis
(Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)

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"Is -- Reginald -- at -- it -- again?" Papa shouts between notes.
"Hush up," Mama says, "I just love this one."
Papa sometimes comes home in a bad mood because he's the manager of the Dukes -- the worst team in the Negro National League.

Reginald loves his violin. His constant practice pays off in floods of beautiful music. But Papa could care less about Reginald's "fiddling." He's more concerned about the Dukes's losing streak, and he needs his son for something other than playing music. When Papa makes Reginald the Dukes's bat boy, Reginald worries that his practice time will suffer, and that he won't be ready for his recital. He takes on every free moment he can find to play, and ends up filling the dugout with Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Soon the Dukes begin to shake their bad luck. But there's still that big game against the Monarchs, and there's still Papa's heart that needs winning over.
In this beautifully told story of family ties and team spirit, Gavin Curtis captures a very special period in history. Award-winning artist E.B. Lewis brings the warmth of this powerful story to life with his lush watercolor paintings.

About Gavin Curtis

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Gavin Curtis received a B.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has worked as an artist at Marvel Comics, where he wrote and illustrated several anthology titles. Mr. Curtis is the author of Grandma's Baseball, a children's book that he also illustrated. The Bat Boy and His Violin is his first book for Simon & Schuster, and marks his first children's book collaboration solely as author. Mr. Curtis teaches pre-kindergarten in New York City, where he lives.
Published January 1, 2001 by Perfection Learning. 32 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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It is 1948 and, as Jackie Robinson did the prior year, many top African American ball players in the Negro Leagues are defecting to join ""white teams."" Curtis's (Grandma's Baseball) plot centers on Reginald, a young violin player whose father manages the Negro National League's worst team, whic...

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A Patchwork of Books

I guess it could be seen as light and corny — and maybe this makes me light and corny — but I find this story to be meaningful, relevant and full of hope.

Sep 27 2006 | Read Full Review of The Bat Boy and His Violin (C...

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