cover image Super-Sized Slugger

Super-Sized Slugger

Cal Ripken Jr. and Kevin Cowherd, read by Stephen Hoye. Listening Library, unabridged, four CDs, 4.5 hrs., $27 ISBN 978-0-307-94275-3

When Cody Parker arrives at a new school, he needs to prove that his burly body is good for more than just mocking. To that end, he joins the baseball team—but his plan may be working to well. His spectacular performances start to show up the team’s bully. Mixing issues of self-image, bullying, and sports, Ripken and Cowherd provide an enjoyable and exciting story that narrator Stephen Hoye masterfully executes, deftly handling both the young protagonist’s internal life and exciting play on the baseball field. Hoye’s deep, powerful voice may seem like an odd choice for a young adult novel, but he perfectly captures the emotions and angst of young Cody. But where Hoye really excels is his narration of Cody’s baseball games. The authors craft baseball scenes with great dramatic flair, and Hoye executes the play-by-play with the skill of any professional announcer. Ages 9–up. A Hyperion hardcover. (Mar.)