The Resource Heart of a champion, Carl Deuker

Heart of a champion, Carl Deuker

Label
Heart of a champion
Title
Heart of a champion
Statement of responsibility
Carl Deuker
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Seth faces a strain on his friendship with Jimmy, who is both a baseball champion and something of an irresponsible fool, when Jimmy is kicked off the team
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Golden Sower Award (Nebraska), Young Adult, 1996.
  • Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, Grades 6-8, 1997.
Review
  • Books for Youth, Older Readers: Gr. 8-10. Readers who enjoyed Deuker's On the Devil's Court (1989) will be lining up to read his second novel, which explores the five-year friendship of two boys. Baseball has been the basis for Seth and Jimmy's friendship, from their first meeting on a practice field when they were 12 through their time together in summer leagues and on high school teams. Jimmy taught Seth how to play the game, encouraged him to excel, pushed him to his limits, and taught him to love the sport. The game also bridged the problems and differences in their lives: Seth's father's death, Jimmy's father's alcoholism and Jimmy's own drinking problem, and Seth's academic achievement. When Jimmy's drinking leads to a tragic accident, Seth realizes that their shared love of the game is a link that can't be broken and that what he gained from his friendship with Jimmy will never be lost. Deuker provides sports action and playing tips enough to appeal to even reluctant readers and surrounds them with a sensitive, fast-paced plot filled with well-developed characters. ((Reviewed June 1993)) -- Chris Sherman
  • Gr 6-10-- On the day Seth Barham met Jimmy Winter, his life changed. Seth had been an unfocused, confused pre-teen who had never come to terms with his father's death when he was seven. He meets Jimmy in a park as Jimmy's overbearing father is putting his son through intense baseball drills. As their friendship develops, Jimmy's intensity and self-assurance on the playing field spills over into Seth's life, helping him to blossom as a student and a baseball player. However, Jimmy's home life begins to unravel when his parents divorce. Also, he is suspended from the team when he develops a drinking problem. Seth withstands peer pressure to drink, and, with his mother's support, begins to accept his father's death. However, his biggest battle comes when he must cope with Jimmy's death in an auto accident. Baseball action permeates the story, increasing the novel's interest to those readers familiar with the sport but setting up possible barriers for the uninitiated. Seth's simply told, often moving first-person narrative is meant to be his way of accepting the two losses in his life. However, although the semi-therapeutic story covers three years in the boys' baseball lives, it largely ignores their school lives and some readers may wonder what else they did. Mixing themes common to many YA coming-of-age titles with strong character development, this easy-to-read and well-paced novel will involve many readers. --Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
  • Baseball becomes a metaphor for life in Deuker's thought-provoking testimonial to friendship and filial love. Narrator Seth, who lost his father at age seven, becomes a baseball fanatic five years later, when he starts playing ball with Jimmy Winter and Jimmy's perfectionist father. But Mr. Winter is hardly perfect: an alcoholic, he abruptly moves out and stops seeing Jimmy, then months later shows up, drunk, at a ballgame. Jimmy subsequently moves away, but Seth has been so strongly influenced that he's even eligible for the honors program in high school. Seth joins junior varsity baseball and is thrilled when Jimmy moves back and also makes the team. They start attending weekly beer-drinking parties at the home of teammate Todd. To his despair, Seth gets left in J.V. while Jimmy and Todd become varsity stars, even though they're suspended once for drinking. Eventually Seth makes the varsity squad and, along with Todd, quits drinking. But even with athletic stardom beckoning, Jimmy doesn't sober up, and the consequences are tragic. Deuker ( On the Devil's Court ) writes grittily, with action worthy of the sports page. Yet the sensitive examination of the importance of a father--or lack of one--in a boy's life is where Deuker really hits a home run. Ages 12-up. (May)
  • From the author of On the Devil's Court (1989), another story in which sports and life intertwine. Jimmy Winter, his eyes fixed on the major leagues, accepts his father's harsh coaching as the only way to develop that special edge. Develop it he does, though their personal relationship founders on the rocks of his father's alcoholism. Jimmy fires up new friend Seth with the love of baseball, and the two play through Little League, Babe Ruth League and into high school. Seth is competent but not gifted, though he discovers that the benefits of hard work and concentration on the field carry over to school. His admiration for Jimmy's potential becomes mixed with more complex feelings when he learns that his friend is drinking and cutting class. After that revelation, the story moves with heavy inevitability: the varsity team puts together a championship season, but Jimmy kills himself in a car accident just before the clincher. Covering well worked thematic territory, Deuker offers readers few surprises in this outing, but the baseball action is believable and the contrasts between several sets of characters are thoughtfully explored. (Fiction. 12-14) (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 1993)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
077904
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Deuker, Carl
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 10
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Friendship
  • Friendship
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Heart of a champion, Carl Deuker
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
199 p.
Isbn
9780316067263
Isbn Type
(softcov.)
Lccn
92037231 /AC
Label
Heart of a champion, Carl Deuker
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
199 p.
Isbn
9780316067263
Isbn Type
(softcov.)
Lccn
92037231 /AC

Library Locations

    • Bluebonnet Regional Branch LibraryBorrow it
      9200 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70810, US
      30.365310 -91.105254
    • Central Branch LibraryBorrow it
      11260 Joor Rd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70818, US
      30.550630 -91.051706
    • Main LibraryBorrow it
      7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70806, US
      30.443886 -91.107152
    • Zachary Branch LibraryBorrow it
      1900 Church St., Zachary, LA, 70791, US
      30.653561 -91.184684
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