The Big Field
Philomel Books (2008)
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 10) for Reader Views (6/08)
“The Big Field” by Mike Lupica is definitely a book for baseball lovers. Follow Keith “Hutch” Hutchison as he and his team push their way to the finals. Can Hutch overcome problems with a teammate? Will Hutch’s father ever take notice of him? Will his team get to play on “the big field”?
Keith Hutchison, known to his friends as Hutch, is a fourteen-year-old baseball fanatic. He pretty much thinks of nothing but baseball. He has been shortstop “forever.” He is the team captain of the Boynton Beach Post 226 Cardinals, and his team has a shot of making it to the State Championship. When Darryl “D-will” Williams, a star shortstop, moves to town, Hutch is forced to become second baseman. He makes the sacrifice for the good of the team but it is with grief and several fist fights.
As if it weren’t bad enough to lose his position, Hutch finds his father playing ball with D-will. Hutch feels betrayed. His father, a former baseball player, won’t even watch a baseball game with Hutch, let alone play ball with him. He barely speaks to Hutch and rarely even attends his games. Why is his father like this? Will Hutch ever be able to have a relationship with his father?
Full of baseball jargon, this book is all baseball and lacks a strong plot. Readers who do not know much about baseball, baseball teams and baseball players might feel a bit lost.
I would recommend “The Big Field” to people who want to read the sports page – this book is for them!