Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Fresh from a thrilling basketball season playing for the varsity team, Matt is looking forward to a new challenge: baseball. The South Side team seems to be strong this year—if only Matt can control his fear of being hit by an errant pitch. But when Matt's friend, Jake, the team's star, falls in with the wrong crowd, the entire season—not to mention their long-standing friendship—seems to be on the line.
About the author
- Commended, CCBC Our Choice
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Excerpt: High and Inside (by (author) Jeff Rud)
He dug in again, sinking his cleats into the soft clay of the batter's box and getting set for the next pitch. He was determined to hang in there this time and not back away, no matter what happened. White went into his long, deliberate windup. It seemed like forever, but in fact it was only a couple of seconds before the older boy uncoiled and sent the ball again in a flash toward the plate.
This time, Matt stayed in the box, swinging at the spot where he anticipated the baseball would cross. But this pitch was slightly inside. It nicked him on the index finger of his right hand and ricocheted off his cheekbone. The pain shot through his finger and the left side of his face at the same time, but Matt stayed on his feet.
"a clean-cut and page-turning novel."