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Children's Fiction Baseball & Softball

The Boy from Left Field

by (author) Tom Henighan

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2012
Baseball & Softball, General, Homelessness & Poverty
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


When Hawk’s baseball coach tells him how Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run nearby, the question arises: what happened to the baseball?

Bullies, baseball, and kids who defy the odds. Hawk, a poor, half-Native boy who lives on the street, is eager to go back to school, to play baseball, and to please both his divorced parents. When Mr. Rizzuto, his baseball coach, tells him how the great Babe Ruth, playing on nearby Toronto Island in 1914, hit his first professional home run, the question arises: what happened to the baseball? Did it land in the waters of Lake Ontario and disintegrate over time? Or did someone fish it out?

This is the story of a quest for a lost baseball treasure, and of a boy finding his own family roots and a place in the big city. A lively tale, it shows how kids who seem powerless can work together to take on some of life’s daunting challenges as they deal with schoolroom bullies and street gangs.


About the author

Tom Henighan is the author of 17 published books, including Mercury Man, shortlisted for the Red Maple Award; Viking Quest and Viking Terror, two historical novels set in medieval Canada; and more recently, Demon in My View and Doom Lake Holiday. In 2008 he was awarded the Victor Tolgesy Prize for lifetime contribution to the arts in Ottawa, where he lives.

Tom Henighan's profile page


  • Commended, Dewey Divas and the Dudes

Editorial Reviews

Readers will be satisfied with the interesting and inspiring story about a half-Aboriginal protagonist who forms a positive self-identity, develops his self-confidence, and gains acceptance and belonging within his community through his adventures and daily experiences.

Canadian Materials

"a fastpaced mystery"

Resource Links

Librarian Reviews

The Boy From Left Field

In this rousing mystery-adventure, ten-year-old Hawk is an impoverished halfAboriginal boy in Toronto. His life is constantly challenged by divorced and feuding parents, homelessness, street gangs and bullies. Despite these troubles, Hawk becomes part of a daring treasure hunt for Babe Ruth’s famous lost home run ball. A school project in his gifted class on Native Heritage in Canada brings Hawk closer to his Cree father. Although feeling overwhelmed and depressed, Hawk remembers the “magic power” to overcome life’s obstacles that his father assured him is in the deepest soul of everyone. By believing in his own power, Hawk’s life begins to resolve and the treasure hunt ends successfully.

A 20-page online Teacher’s Guide geared for Grade 7–9 is available through the publisher’s website.

Caution: Includes a few mild swear words.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2012-2013.

Other titles by Tom Henighan

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