A Season of Daring Greatly

Ellen Emerson White. Greenwillow, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-246321-0

Like the TV series Pitch, White’s novel traces the dramatic ups and downs of a female professional baseball player trying to prove her worth. Jill Cafferty’s plans to attend Stanford are put on hold after she gets drafted to pitch for one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league teams. Already a media darling, Jill gains even more fame after accepting the offer. Living away from home with a host family, she often feels lonely and homesick despite having been taken under the wing of a fellow player. And there are a number of people, including some of Jill’s new teammates, who would like nothing more than to see her fail. Beyond giving an insider’s view of baseball players’ daily routines and lives, White (the President’s Daughter series) offers a credible portrait of a young woman breaking traditional gender boundaries while being scrutinized by the entire nation. Although some of the storyline is predictable, well-defined characters will draw readers in, and the open-ended conclusion will leave them contemplating how far Jill’s talent might take her. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Feb.)