Out of Left Field — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”

~ George Edward Woodberry ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

That old bugaboo Show Don’t Tell is revisited HERE at Fiction University by Laurence McNaughton. This is a really good one.

BookBabyBlog has an interesting post HERE on using a straight man to do some important work in your writing.

Funny lady Kristen Lamb has some great tips HERE for catching and keeping your audience.

I spent most of this weekend at a festival of new comedies put on by the B Street Theatre in Sacramento. I have been a season ticket holder for over 16 years with this theatre company, and I really love their work. They had narrowed the plays down from 52 submitted to the top four. These four were presented in staged readings. Anyone who went to all four readings, will be able to vote on the plays and help choose the winner to be presented during next year’s season. Each reading was followed by a talk-back session with the actors, directors, and playwrights. It was a lot of fun and most interesting. Perhaps the most interesting moment for me was when one of the playwrights tried to explain the difference between writing a play and a novel. What I came away from that with is there isn’t a whole lot of difference — writing is writing. If you are ever in the Sacramento area and want to see some excellent theatre, get thee to the B Street!

When last we met, I promised a gently-read hardback copy of Bobby Lee Claremont and the Criminal Element by Jeannie Mobley to one of you. Our winner this time is June McCrary Jacobs. Congratulations, June! I will get the book out to you soon. If you don’t know June, she is a California writer and stitcher. You can find out more about her and her books HERE. Please keep reading for another great giveaway.

outofleftfieldIf you have been reading my blog for a number of years, you might know I am a big fan of Ellen Klages. Her earlier books The Green Glass Sea and White Sands, Red Menace are two wonderful historical MG novels I love. I wrote a little about Ellen and her books HERE. Today I want to talk about her newest book, Out of Left Field. When I saw this new book by Ellen on the list for review from the San Francisco Book Review, I snapped it right up. First because I am a fan of her writing and second because anything baseball related is of great interest to me. I was not disappointed! Here is the review I wrote for them.

Katy Gordon plays ball with the boys. Not just ball, but baseball, and Katy can pitch like nobody’s business. If you didn’t know Katy, you might mistake her for a boy in her jeans, jersey, and baseball cap. It’s 1957, and girls don’t play baseball. A coach from a Little League team sees Katy pitching and invites her to try out. After she makes the cut, she tells them she is a girl. Well, it’s against Little League rules for girls to play, and when Katy challenges the rules with headquarters, she is shot down and told no girls ever play real baseball. In setting out to find one woman baseball player, Katy finds hundreds and a whole hidden history of women in the game.

Ellen K
Ellen Klages Photo by Scott R. Kline

Author Ellen Klages is a superb storyteller who really does her research, and that research makes this book shine. The characters are well-rounded and completely believable, the story is one to which readers can connect, and the writing is simply gorgeous. The history embedded in the story will have young readers learning without them ever knowing it, and the back-matter will have readers wanting to know more about these fascinating characters in history.

I have a gently-read hardback for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.


8 thoughts on “Out of Left Field — Review & Giveaway”

  1. This book is already on my TBR and sounds like a book I will thoroughly enjoy reading as I played sports growing up, something my mom didn’t always have the chance being a girl growing up at the time this book was set (which is another reason to read this). Thanks for sharing your copy with one of us. I shared on twitter, tumblr, pinterest, google+, and Facebook.


  2. Sounds like a fun time at the B Street Theater.
    Excellent links this week. I found something to use in each of them.
    I have not read any of Ellen’s books and now can’t wait to start my first. This story in particular is one I would surely enjoy.


  3. I read the Green Glass Sea a few years ago and really liked it. I can see that her latest on baseball and hidden women heroes would be right up your alley. Rajan and I don’t have season tickets because we travel so much, but we’ve enjoyed many plays by B Street Theater. The casting, direction, acting is always superb.


  4. I loved Green Glass Sea too and I have a granddaughter named Caitlin who I want to win this book for. Count me in! Thanks


  5. I love books and movies about baseball, but never went to a game. Go figure! This one intrigues me because it was a girl wanting to play baseball around the time I was playing hardball with my dad in the backyard. Girl power!


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