Keeping Score

Keeping Score

Maggie-O, named after Joe Dimaggio, is a diehard Dodger fan back in the 50's and no matter how hard she wishes and prays and tries hard not to jinx them, the Dodgers just never can win the World Series. One of the most magical days of her life comes when her friend down at the firehouse, Jim, teaches her how to score a baseball game. Then, when Jim is sent off to the Korean War, Maggie-O finds that sharing baseball helps her stay connected to Jim, even though he is so very far away. But letters stop coming back. Maggie's faith is tested again, and, eventually, when she learns the truth, Maggie-o decides there might be something she can do to make a difference for her friend.

212 pages

978-0618927999 Ages 9-13

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Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn’t play baseball—but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players’ statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it’s Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of every inning, but by keeping score she feels she’s more than just a fan: she’s helping her team.

Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments—being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she’s determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.

Even those readers who think they don’t care about baseball will be drawn into the world of the true and ardent fan. Linda Sue Park’s captivating story will, of course, delight those who are already keeping score.---from the publisher

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