Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A good read for boys who love baseball

Last night I started reading a book that I had bought for Ben and Sam around Christmastime, but we are just getting around to it.

It is perfect timing, actually, because we are starting baseball, and the book is about a group of kids, baseball, and being a "know it all" -- it's part of a series of sports books called "Backyard Sports" by Michael Teitelbaum...and it is a young reader. It also apparently has video games available with the characters.

What I liked about this book was actually the good writing used. It has a lot of baseball vocabulary and content, so kids who don't really know about the game might have trouble understanding it. But those kids who know and love the game, will really enjoy it.

Here's an example of what I liked.
"Andy dashed down the line from third, a blur of arms and legs." Great description - not simplistic...

"Ernie paced around behind the mound, trying to calm down. He took a deep breath, picked up his mitt, then got ready to pitch to Ramon." Love how he shows us how he's feeling rather than simply saying he was nervous.

"He looked around the field. The grass was bight green and cut low. The dirt in the base paths were smooth and brown, an neatly separated the infield and outfield grass. No weeds. No bare spots. And no tree stumps." Good clear description and sentence variety.

This is the type of reading we want kids to pay attention to, especially when they are starting to write more descriptively. The more they have read this good writing, the more apt they are to mimic, and then absorb as their own.

In Texas, we have a standardized test called the TAKS. It is a HUGE deal here, and we are always wanting the kids to be prepared for the fourth grade writing. I am definitely going to have Ben and Sam read this now, and encourage them to try this type of writing now, in first grade...

Anyhow, I got off on a tangent. I really enjoyed the chapters I read last night, and I recommend them to you. The team isn't just boys either...there are girls, and different ethnicities too.

Check them out and tell me what you think -- oh, and the video games too. I don't think I will be getting those, but if your child is motivated by that first and then they read the book, it's a means to a good end!

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