Fast pitch

Nic Stone

Book - 2021

"Shenice Lockwood dreams of leading the Fulton Firebirds to the U12 softball regional championship. But Shenice's focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending-and family-name-ruining-crime may have been a setup. It's up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family's past--and fast--before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever."--

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Bookmobile Children's Show me where

jFICTION/Stone, Nic
1 / 1 copies available

Children's Room Show me where

jFICTION/Stone Nic
1 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Bookmobile Children's jFICTION/Stone, Nic Checked In
Children's Room jFICTION/Stone Nic Checked In
Children's Room jFICTION/Stone Nic Due Jun 2, 2022
Sports fiction
Social problem fiction
New York : Crown Books for Young Readers [2021]
First edition
Physical Description
179 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Ages 8-12.
Grades 4-6.
Main Author
Nic Stone (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is a legend when it comes to her love of the ball field—playing goes all the way back to her great-grandfather, who was nearly in the pros. She and her team are the only all-Black girls team in their softball league, and they're charging their way toward the championships. But can Shenice stay focused on their games instead of a newly discovered family mystery? Her great-uncle Jack recently spilled the beans that the crime that cost Great Grampy his career was a setup! Tensions are high as the plot bounces between gameplay and sleuthing, ultimately reaching a satisfying conclusion. Stone compellingly weaves a love of sports and family with mystery, using lifelike dialogue and realistic relationships, while interspersing historical facts that flesh out the narrative arc between the past and present. Readers of all ages will cheer for Shenice and appreciate Stone's note, which shares her history on the field and how her characters got their names. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling, award-winning Stone has legions of fans eager for anything with her name on the cover. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Black girl magic hits a home run in Stone's (Clean Getaway) latest novel. Twelve-year-old Shenice "Lightning" Lockwood has been playing "base-related ball" her whole life—just like her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before her. Now captain of the Fulton Firebirds, the first all-Black team in Georgia's Dixie Youth Softball Association, her goal is to lead her team to the championship and send a message that "girls like us do belong on the field." When that goal sees a setback, Shenice's father gives her Great-Grampy JonJon's mitt "as a reminder of what's in you." But the item that truly captures her attention in JonJon's off-limits trunk is his leather journal—and his story. When Shenice meets her great-uncle Jack, JonJon's brother, in an assisted living facility, she learns that her great-grandfather was almost one of the first Black MLB players—until he was kicked out of the league for a theft that Jack insists JonJon was framed for. Considering her family legacy, Shenice struggles to maintain her focus as captain while following Jack's clues to clear JonJon's name. Fast-paced and heartwarming, this story captures the essence of familial duty through a warm family dynamic and a child protagonist with genuine agency. Ages 8–12. (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–8—A sports mystery that will keep readers engaged from start to finish. "Base-related ball" runs in Shenice's blood. Her dad played, and his dad played, and now Shenice is the captain of the Fulton Firebirds, the first and only all-Black softball team in the Dixie Youth Softball Association. More than anything, she wants to prove that Black girls do belong on the field. The day after a tough loss, Shenice's father decides it's time to introduce her to her Great-Grampy JonJon's infamous trunk. The trunk holds all kinds of baseball treasures, but her father gives her JonJon's mitt and closes the trunk. Shenice is curious about other items she saw but doesn't know how to learn more about them until she discovers her Great-Grampy's brother, Uncle Jack, is still alive. When they meet, Uncle Jack tells Shenice the reason JonJon stopped playing ball: he was framed for stealing the glove of Joe DiMaggio from a charity auction. Her parents told her Uncle Jack isn't always lucid. Is the story true? Can Shenice clear JonJon's name? Discussions about race and civil rights are seamlessly woven into the narrative through Shenice's own experiences, her schoolwork, and conversations with her language arts teacher. The climax feels unnecessarily prolonged, but this may keep younger readers on the edge of their seats. Softball terminology isn't always explained, so it would benefit readers to have some background knowledge of the sport. VERDICT Purchase this title where Stone's work, sports stories, and light mysteries are popular.—Lisa Buffi, Sterling M.S., VA Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Working hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat, softball captain Shenice Lockwood must prove herself on and off the field when a family secret is revealed, breaking her focus on the game as the championship fast approaches. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a challenging and heartwarming coming-of-age story about a softball player looking to prove herself on and off the field.Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way. Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat. Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending—and family-name-ruining—crime may have been a setup. Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. And Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified. It's up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past—and fast—before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.