cover image Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

Jordan Sonnenblick. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-32069-6

The start of Peter’s freshman year is marked by twin tragedies: a serious arm injury during a baseball game means his pitching days are over, and his beloved grandfather, a photographer who taught Peter how to shoot, is losing his memory. Peter tries to keep the extent of both problems hidden—the first from his best friend and fellow pitcher, AJ, and the second from his mother, per his grandfather’s request. But his secrets prove harder and harder to keep, especially when his new girlfriend and fellow photography enthusiast, Angelika, gives him an ultimatum, and his deteriorating grandfather ends up in an emergency situation. Sonnenblick’s story may be straightforward, but Peter’s natural and self-effacing narrative voice makes it sing. The novel is populated with kind, vulnerable characters who care about each other (mellow San from Zen and the Art of Faking It even makes an appearance), and the thoroughly enjoyable mix of sports, art, family drama, and budding romance will have readers invested in Peter’s struggles to accept his new world and appreciate what he has. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)